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You might be able to take the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in the pool with you

Published Jul 22nd, 2021 8:16PM EDT
Fold 3 Water Resistance
Image: Samsung via Evan Blass

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The most exciting Galaxy Z Fold 3 feature this year might be something we’ve been waiting for Samsung to “fix” since the original Fold. The 2021 foldable phones might have better build quality and significantly improved durability. With less than a month until the Fold 3 and Flip 3 are revealed, we think we know everything there is to know about the handsets. Many rumors claimed that the handsets would be less fragile than their predecessors. The latest one further reinforces that idea. The Fold 3 and Flip 3 might get amazing water resistance ratings.

It might seem silly to get excited about phone durability in 2021, but the Fold 3 and Flip 3 are foldable devices. They feature glass that folds and a hinge that can allow foreign objects to enter the handset. These are problems you don’t encounter on other handsets. That’s why you typically don’t worry as much about the glass quality or water and dust resistance ratings.

Traditional smartphones come with strong glass that supports extra protective layers. And most flagships are water and dust-resistant nowadays.

Foldable phones also happen to be quite expensive. Paying more money for a Fold 3 or Flip 3 and then worrying about potential damge from water and dust ingress isn’t ideal.

Fold 3 water resistance rating explained

Regulators from China and the US have already confirmed the Fold 3 will feature S Pen support. That implies the next-gen Ultra Thin Glass is not going to be as fragile as last year’s. Reports a few months ago said that the Fold 3 would also get its own dust and water resistance rating without offering an actual ingress protection (IP) rating.

Well-known leaker Max Weinbach said on Twitter that both the Flip 3 and Fold 3 will be IPX8 certified. The revelation came in response to a question asking whether Fold 3 will be water-resistant.

Ingress Protection Rating
The Ingress Protection (IP) rating chart: dust and water resistance. Image source: International Electrotechnical Commission

The image above explains the IP scale. IPX8 means that the value for dust resistance hasn’t been decided (the “X”). But the “8” tells us the device will be “protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water.”

If Weinbach’s claim is based on accurate information, that’s terrific news for Fold 3 and Flip 3. It means water and other liquids will not get into the phone.

As SamMobile points out, the battle is only half won. Ideally, we’d want an IP67 or IP68 rating for a foldable handset. Dust ingress led to screen damage during the early Galaxy Fold reviews more than two years ago. Samsung came up with a different hinge last year to reduce the amount of debris entering into the phone.

But even after Samsung fixed the hinge problem, fine dust particles still found their way inside the Flip and Fold 2. It’s unclear whether Samsung found a way to prevent dust ingress completely on Flip 3 and Fold 3.

The two foldables launch on August 11th. That’s when Samsung will offer us more detail about their water and dust resistance ratings.

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.