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Galaxy Z Fold 3 durability tests show how sturdy Samsung’s foldable is

Published Aug 30th, 2021 5:42PM EDT
Fold 3 Durability
Image: Samsung

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The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 reached customers last week after a couple of weeks of preorders. That means we can expect a lot more real-life experience with the new foldable phones, including plenty of durability tests. Durability, after all, is one of the main worries with foldable devices. And durability happens to be one of the major selling points for the Fold 3. During the launch event, Samsung confirmed all the rumors, insisting on the Fold 3’s improved build quality. And we finally have the Fold 3 durability test we’ve been waiting for.

Fold 3’s durability is excellent on paper

We expect all flagship phones to deliver great durability and build quality. These are expensive devices, so we want them to withstand most types of accidents. And flagship devices are usually quite durable. Most of them are water and dust-resistant. And most of them will survive some accidental drops before the front and/or back glass shatters.

Foldable devices have two unique design particularities that are immediately apparent: the foldable display and the hinge. Both can lead to accidental damage, and the original Galaxy Fold design is a testament to that. Samsung’s Fold 2 already delivered important design updates over its predecessors. But the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is supposed to be better in every way.

The Fold 3 features an Aluminum Armor metal frame, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus front, and rear glass panels, and second-gen Ultra Thin Glass covering the foldable screen. The handset is also water-resistant. That’s excellent news, in theory. The phone should be even less susceptible to damage than its predecessor. But is it really so?

Real-life durability test

YouTube channel JerryRigEverything is famous for the “standard” smartphone durability test. These are very practical tests that will answer a few key questions about a brand new phone. Zack Nelson puts every new device through the same ordeals. He attempts to scratch the screen, the sides, the camera glass, and the rear panels. He tries to bend the phone and see if there’s any damage. And he exposes the displays to fire and the phone to water.

That’s why the durability test is as objective as possible, allowing you to quickly compare the durability of different types of smartphones.

Nelson put the Galaxy Z Fold 3 through the same tests and discovered that the Fold 3 is indeed quite durable.

The foldable UTG glass still scratches easier than regular glass because it has a plastic layer on top. Your nails might leave a mark. But the new S Pen stylus is designed not to leave any marks during use. Also interesting is that the display doesn’t get any damage from debris stuck between the foldable phone’s sides. Furthermore, the dust doesn’t seem to get through the hinge either.

What the test couldn’t prove is that the new UTG cover is 80% more durable than the first-gen version. But the scratches and grooves seem to be smaller than before. You can compare the current test against the Fold 2’s performance.

In other words, the Fold 3’s durability seems promising indeed. You should still pay attention to how you handle that foldable screen, however. And the Victus glass on the exterior is still glass that can break.

Upcoming teardowns should further explore Samsung’s durability innovations for the Fold 3. Meanwhile, Nelson’s Fold 3 durability test follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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