Galaxy Fold vs. FoldBot, SquareTrade's First Phone-Folding Robot
It’s been exactly a week since the Samsung Galaxy Fold launched in the U.S., and this time around, Samsung promises they’ve worked out all the kinks. The bulge along the hinge, malfunctioning screens, and misleading protective layer are supposedly things of the past, and the new-and-improved Galaxy Fold is here to stay whether we like it or not.
Several outlets, including consumer electronics warranty provider SquareTrade, have already gotten their hands on the Fold and given it a fair testing. The company otherwise known for demolishing smartphones to test their durability created an entirely new device specifically for the Galaxy Fold. While SquareTrade’s victims are normally subject to beatings involving drops, tumbling, water submersion, and bending, the Galaxy Fold needed something a bit different.
Enter FoldBot: SquareTrade’s first-ever, phone-folding robot.
According to Samsung, owners of a Galaxy Fold can expect to fold and unfold their device around 40,000 times per year. SquareTrade wanted to test the phone’s folding durability as it relates to three years of use or 120,000 folds—a realistic amount of time to own a $2,000 phone.
As the FoldBot conducted its test, it made a few stops so that the phone could be inspected. The first sign of damage appeared at 18,500 folds—not even a full year’s worth. At 40,000 folds there was not only a pixel blob, but the touchscreen was malfunctioning as well. But SquareTrade allowed the Galaxy Fold to rest and recharge overnight, and the touchscreen had corrected itself.
The Foldbot concluded the remaining 80,000 folds, and after the final 120,000 fold was made, SquareTrade observed a deteriorated hinge and the same pixel blob that appeared at 40,000 folds. Other than that, the phone continued to work normally.
Then came the drop test.
SquareTrade put the Galaxy Fold through its standard 6-foot drop tests, and they didn’t exactly end well. A front-facing drop of the opened Galaxy Fold resulted in an indented screen, camera failure, and touchscreen failure, which left the phone unusable. The closed, front-screen drop test produced a shattered screen and selfie camera and rear camera failure.
So even though it seems that Samsung slightly improved the folding aspect of the Galaxy Fold, the device as a whole is still very delicate, and definitely requires a great deal of caution.