As a potential buyer, the biggest concern that customers have before splurging on a foldable phone is the longevity of the folding parts, especially the display and moving parts in the hinge. When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the company divulged that it was tested to survive at least 200,000 folding and unfolding cycles. That’s enough for about five years of usage, which is not too shabby.
Earlier this month, Samsung dropped its next-generation clamshell foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Even though it looks identical to its predecessor, the hinge is a tad slimmer, there’s a faster chip under the hood, and the main rear camera now features larger pixels to deliver brighter and more detailed images. However, if your primary concern is how the Galaxy Z Flip 4 handles folding and unfolding, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Samsung claims the Galaxy Z Flip 4 can survive “200,000 folds before failing,” which translates to 100 sessions of folding each day for approximately five years. We noted the Galaxy Z Flip 4‘s hinge has a smooth opening action but also has enough resistance that it doesn’t feel flimsy. The resistance is also just about sufficient to keep the device unfolded at a variety of angles. However, do keep in mind that the hinge system is made out of a ton of moving parts, so it is hard to explain how it will fare two to three years down the road.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 appears to be holding up well, especially the hinge mechanism. You can likely rest assured the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will be no different, at least for the first couple of years.
In the instance that you come across issues such as the hinge eventually loosening or getting uncharacteristically stiffer, Samsung recommends you immediately take it to an authorized repair and service outlet. If your budget allows it, you should definitely get the extended warranty package for the phone as a safety measure so that the hit on your wallet is minimal in case of any major hinge-related hardware issues down the road.
But do keep in mind, the hinge might loosen up a bit over time, and there are personal accounts from those who have experienced it. But unless it’s a major change in the resistance levels and the device has trouble being used in Flex mode, your Galaxy Z Flip 4 should be just fine.
However, if it gets loose to the point that the upper half automatically unfolds to a wider angle, as shown in this Reddit video, you should call Samsung support or visit a repair outlet to have it fixed.
What about dust and water exposure risks? Well, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with an IPX8 certification, which means it can survive immersion in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. You should, however, keep it away from saltwater because salts and ions can have a corrosive effect on the hinge elements and hamper its durability over time.
If you’re still pondering how the Galaxy Z Flip 4 fares when it comes to other parameters like general performance, camera output, and battery longevity, check out our detailed review.