What you need to know
- YouTuber Mrkeybrd created a test where the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 was constantly folded and unfolded live without ceasing.
- The test lasted a total of five days, concluding just past 418,500 folds when the hinge became completely unreliable.
- Samsung only rates the Z Flip 3 at 200,000 folds for the lifetime of the phone.
Foldable phone owners will probably remember the first few times they folded and unfolded their phones. That feeling in the pit of the stomach is unmistakably caused by the worry that the glass could break at any moment, even though Samsung guarantees the phone can fold over 200,000 times over the life of the phone. That's why YouTuber Mrkeybrd sought out to find the exact number of times a Z Flip 3 could be folded before it broke.
Turns out, Samsung's estimates were incredibly conservative and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (opens in new tab) survived over 418,500 folds before the hinge — not the glass — finally gave way and wouldn't stay open or closed. That hinge started to become unreliable around 325,000 folds, which is still more than 50% longer than Samsung rates the phone for.
The test, which was livestreamed on YouTube (opens in new tab) over a series of five days from June 8-13, had people take turns folding and unfolding the best foldable phone (opens in new tab) without ceasing. A counting device was attached to the Z Flip 3 and ticked upward every time the phone was folded and unfolded. That counter was visible on screen at all times during the broadcast.
The end portion of the video can be viewed below, including an impromptu drop test after the hinge gave up the ghost. It's notable that any tests like this aren't exactly performed under real-world conditions, as some viewers have pointed out. The fact remains that the phone would have remained warm throughout most of the duration of the test, while real-world usage would include far more temperature variations — the most feared being colder weather, where it's been surmised that foldable glass could be more prone to cracking.
Our own in-house Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 models at Android Central have, thus far, survived 10 months of real-world everyday usage as of this writing. The Z Fold 3, in particular, seems to have survived the best but it's notable that this phone isn't opened as often as a Z Flip 3 since it has an outer display that can be used for all tasks.
Since the Z Flip 3's primary screen sees far more folding and unfolding due to its design, logic dictates that this phone would have a shorter folding lifespan simply because of the frequency of use. In our case, the factory pre-installed screen protector on our Z Flip 3 has seen better days and is in dire need of replacing. Thankfully, for the user in question, the glass looks as good as it did on day one.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was built to last, with a giant, gorgeous screen that conveniently folds in half to better fit in your pocket or bag.