Called It: Some Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Units Are Already Breaking

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip on and laying on its side
Justin Duino

An entire weekend hasn’t even passed since the Galaxy Z Flip’s launch and customers are already finding issues with the foldable. And what makes things even worse is that a torture test has brought up questions about Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) display.

First up, we have Quinn Nelson from the Snazzy Labs YouTube channel. Based on Nelson’s tweets, he purchased the Galaxy Z Flip himself to test out. At the end of his first day with the phone, he posted the below video to Twitter.

You’ll have to increase your device’s volume, but there’s a distinct squeaking noise when Nelson puts pressure on the bottom edge of the foldable’s frame. This “problem” isn’t the end of the world, but if the plastic case is already loose after a single day, imagine how the Galaxy Z Flip might deteriorate over two years.

It also looks like Samsung might have some issues with the Galaxy Z Flip’s display cracking at the crease. As you can see below, someone who bought the foldable somehow managed to destroy the screen immediately after unboxing the phone. Supposedly a single fold was enough to break the display

Keep in mind that we’ve only seen one instance of the foldable cracking after being flipped open. We will know if this is more of a widespread issue once Samsung can restock its inventory and get units to customers.

But what’s most alarming, Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything fame has discovered that the UTG display might not actually be made out of glass. Other foldables like the Motorola Razr feature an internal screen made out of plastic. Samsung spoke highly of the glass in the Galaxy Fold Z at Unpacked 2020 and how it was able to fold.

Watch Nelson’s video and you’ll see how his level 2 Mohs scale of mineral hardness pick starts to cause damage to the display’s surface. If the Galaxy Z Flip’s screen is really made out of glass, it shouldn’t show signs of damage until the level 6 pick is used.

When asked about Nelson’s video, Samsung told The Verge, “… [the] Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) similar to Galaxy Fold.” A thin plastic layer on top of the glass would explain the failed scratch test, but it wouldn’t explain why Nelson was able to poke holes in the AMOLED display easily.

Samsung also stated that it plans to offer a free specialized screen protector through its Premier Service as well as a one-time $119 screen replacement if it’s ever needed. Customers will have to take their device into a certified uBreakiFix store or ship the foldable to Samsung for either procedure to be completed. The service will be available “soon.”

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again; maybe don’t buy the Galaxy Z Flip yet.

Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Managing Editor at How-To Geek. He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry. Read Full Bio »

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