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iFixit’s Galaxy Flip Z Teardown Shows Low Reparability and Nearly Useless Hinge Bristles

A Galaxy Z Flip completely torn apart and laid across a table.

If you’re wondering how Samsung makes the Galaxy Z Flip and what it would take to repair it, iFixit has your back. The crew at iFixit tore down a Z Flip and found that Samsung delivered in some areas and not in others.

iFixit specializes in tearing down and repairing devices. You’ll find the best tools and parts at the company’s site when you need to fix your phone, tablet, or even a drone. But the real fun is watching the iFixit teardown gadgets.

Now the Galaxy Z Flip is under the microscope, and iFixit took an extra step along the way to test one of Samsung’s claims. You see, Samsung famously showed off an intricate (and seemingly long) bristle system that would help prevent dust from entering your $1,380 phone.

But, as the YouTuber JerryRigEverything already showed us, those bristles aren’t nearly expansive as we were lead to believe. Nor is the “Ultra Thin Glass” display truly glass. It’s likely something closer to a polymer, a composite of plastic and glass shards; we’ll call it “glastic.”

To test how well the bristles work, iFixit filled a plastic bag with purple powder then tossed the Z Flip in. After a generous shaking, the teardown was ready to go.  Unfortunately, the more iFixit tore the phone apart, the more purple powder you could see coating nearly everything. It seemed like the cleanest internal parts were the very bristles that Samsung promised would help prevent dust from getting in the device.

The Z Flip hinge, covered in purple powder.

Unsurprisingly, the phone itself is difficult to take apart too. While highlights include the use of common Philips screws, Samsung glued both the phone panels and its batteries down, making repair difficult. One interesting surprise is the motherboard—it seems to have a hydrophobic nano-coating that would help repel water. But Samsung isn’t calling the Z Flip water-resistant, so don’t go dunking your foldable in the bathtub just yet.

Ultimately, iFixit awarded a repairability score of 2 out of 10. That’s not the lowest repair score ever, but it’s small enough that you shouldn’t try this at home. Go to iFixit and look at the gory pictures instead.

via iFixit

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »