With the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung has launched a new folding smartphone. The company has learned from the mistakes of the predecessor model, the Galaxy Fold. Among other improvements, the Galaxy Z Flip is now even more robust. We carefully assessed the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip in CHIP's test center. Our home-made Lego folding machine was deployed for the second time.
Samsung's new foldable smartphone
With the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the South Korean manufacturer has added an all-around-improved foldable phone model to its portfolio. The successor to the world's first folding phone, the Galaxy Fold, also from Samsung, includes a top class processor and good specifications, including the 6.7 inch screen and the folding function that comes with it.
Unlike its predecessor, the display can now be folded vertically instead of horizontally. Despite a more stable folding mechanism, the manufacturer has announced itself that it does not promise a higher number of folding sequences for the Z Flip. Nevertheless, the promised 200,000 times is still a decent number. With 96 folding operations per day (the equivalent of about one folding operation in ten minutes minus eight hours of sleep), the Z Flip would last well over five years.
On and off with the Lego folding machine
That's enough theory: We want to know more for sure. The folding machine constructed by CHIP itself - with the use of Lego technology - had to be put at work once more. Previously, the machine had already assessed the Samsung Galaxy Fold. After a small modification to the new form factor of the Z Flip, the machine was ready for its next deployment.
Using the Lego Mindstorm's EV3 set and its stock of Lego technology from the 90s as a foundation, our senior measurement technician Robert Kraft built a robot that continuously folds the phone's fold up and down. Two large servo motors and a gear ratio provide enough power to fully open and fold the Galaxy Z Flip despite its mechanical resistance. Thanks to the flexible fixation of the smartphone, hardly any forces occured at right angles to the direction of rotation. Therefore our folding processes were very practical.
One week of folding madness
For one week, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip completed fold after fold in our homemade Lego robot and finally reached its goal. We can now confirm: Even after 200,000 times of opening and closing, the display, touch screen and folding mechanism still work as intended. The screen panel itself shows no weaknesses such as dead pixels. Only the folding mechanism indicates that this Z Flip has already had many folds: The opening and closing is slightly less smooth than with a new flip, and at a certain angle you can hear a creaking sound from the folding mechanism. If the smartphone is not completely folded or fully opened, the hinge also malfunctions a little. Nevertheless, the result is a massive improvement on last year's Galaxy Fold.
An everyday and robust foldable
Samsung has indeed shown great engineering skill with the Z Flip: Despite a thin glass pane and a new form factor, the Foldable proves to be both durable and suitable for everyday use.
How the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip performs independently of our folding test is explained in our detailed test report on chip.de.
Pictures & video: CHIP/Markus Kämpf