- Motorola’s new $1,500 Razr foldable smartphone went through CNET’s brutal folding test and survived only 27,000 folds and unfolds.
- To compare, the $2,000 Samsung Galaxy Fold survived 120,000 folds and unfolds in the same test.
- The test isn’t definitive because the robot doing the folding and unfolding is particularly brutal — more so than most humans. If a human does fold and unfold their smartphone as harshly, then perhaps they shouldn’t have a foldable smartphone.
- With their hinges and foldable screens, foldable smartphones have more breaking points than traditional slab-style smartphones.
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Does the folding test show that each phone’s hinge will last through only that many folds? Unlikely. The machine, designed by SquareTrade, that CNET uses to fold and unfold these phones is utterly brutal — far more brutal than how most people are likely to fold and unfold their devices. Just take a look:
Both the Galaxy Fold and the new Razr are more likely to survive a little longer in your comfy padded hands than in the machine’s cold hard metal and plastic. And if you unfold your phone with the same force as the machine, then maybe foldable smartphones aren’t for you.
Still, it’s true that foldable smartphones have more points of failure with the hinge and folding screen than traditional slab-style smartphones. Plus, foldable smartphones are still brand new, and it’ll unsurprisingly take time to develop hinge and foldable-screen technology that’s durable enough for smartphones — devices we use multiple times a day.