Samsung’s new foldable Galaxy Z Flip smartphone has come under fire yet again over the durability of the handset.
One noted reviewer posted a video on YouTube where he claims it does not have a glass screen as advertised.
YouTuber Jerry Rig Everything, who performs durability tests on newly-released phones, found the surface became scratched from a fingernail.
He also called into question the legibility of Samsung’s ‘glass screen’ claims.
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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip (pictured) was the first product announced at Samsung’s ‘Unpacked’ product event on Tuesday and comes with several new tricks, including the ability to fold and stay at 90-degrees for a hands-free experience
His video review shows the screen’s sensitivity to pressure, including lasting damage from finger marks and open flames. These would not appear on glass but did show up on the Z Flip.
The phone has been dubbed the world’s first smartphone with a foldable glass screen and was unveiled last week at Samsung’s Unpacked event in San Francisco.
The £1,300 luxury device is the first ever commercially-available folding phone to have a horizontal crease across the centre.
It’s Samsung’s second folding smartphone after last year’s Galaxy Fold.
‘Samsung is calling this glass but this display clearly doesn’t have the scratch resistance or structural benefits that customers are expecting from glass,’ Jerry Rig Everything said in his review.
‘We shouldn’t be calling this screen glass when clearly my fingernail is leaving marks on the surface.
‘I don’t know what material this is but Samsung definitely shouldn’t be calling it glass and I’m disappointed.’
After testing the display with a series of Mohs hardness picks, Jerry Rig Everything says that the so-called ‘glass screen’ is likely made with a combination of plastic and glass in his video review, which was posted at the weekend.
‘This screen is in no way scratch-resistant whatsoever,’ he says.
In a cryptic statement provided to The Verge, Samsung said: ‘Galaxy Z Flip features an Infinity Flex Display with Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) to deliver a sleek, premium look and offer an immersive viewing experience.
‘Samsung’s first-of-its-kind UTG technology is different from other Galaxy flagship devices.
‘While the display does bend, it should be handled with care. Also, Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the UTG similar to Galaxy Fold.’
The YouTuber’s scathing review continued: ‘The real danger of calling something glass means that people will think they have the protection of glass when that clearly is not the case.
‘Glass distributes pressure along the whole phone, while this plastic allows that pressure to get in and damage pixels.
Once unfolded, the main screen appears to separate into a video display section and a control panel
While the main 6.7-inch screen divides up for video calls, the Galaxy Z Flip forms a single display much like any other smartphone
Jerry Rig Everything also tested the screen’s ‘puncture points’ and found he was able to destroy a whole line of pixels.
Each puncture point creates a black spot of dead pixels that can spread across the device simply when force is applied by the finger.
‘A puncture or cut in the plastic screen is a cancer that will eventually spread across the whole display,’ he says.
The phone also shows a permanent orange mark from the application of an open flame, which wouldn’t have appeared if the screen was true glass, the YouTuber contends.
Elsewhere in the video, the Galaxy Z Flip’s fingerprint reader on the side of the phone stops working after a few scratches, while the phone hinge on the back initially does a good job of preventing the phone from folding backwards.
After more force is applied, the back panel shatters into tiny pieces – although the display still works.
The base of the phone once folded shows the Samsung logo embossed in the metallic base
On the plus side, the mirror-like metal shell that covers the phone appears to show good resistance to the tip of a knife, as does the scratch-resistant glass that covers the rear camera.
At its unveiling event for the phone last week, Samsung said the Galaxy Z Flip ‘not only bends glass, but bends physics’.
The Korean tech giant maintains that the glass screen withstand more than 200,000 times – or 182 times a day for three years.
However, the company advises that Galaxy Z Flip users should handle the phone with at least a degree of delicacy.
When users start up the phone, the screen shows a warning that advises users not to press hard on the screen.
It reads: ‘When you fold the phone, make sure there’s nothing inside that could damage the screen, such as cards, coins or keys.
‘Your phone isn’t water or dust resistant. Don’t allow any liquids or small particles to enter it.’
The Galaxy Z Flip comes in black, purple or gold and relays video calls while folded at various angles.
Galaxy Z Flip users can bend the device at a 90-degree angle for taking videos and pictures and enjoying video-chat hands-free.
The phone folds up to reveal a compact square that can fit easily in a user’s pocket, while the back of the hinge shows the embossed Samsung logo.
There are two displays on the new device – one on the inside that folds on top of itself and a second outer screen that shows time, notifications and caller ID when the device is folded up.
The design is meant to emulate the classic ‘clamshell’ flip phones of the 2000s, including the Samsung S500 and T609.