Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Should You Buy a Foldable Smartphone?

First, there was the Samsung Galaxy Fold. That was a year ago. Fast-forward to this year. Like a mini avalanche, it’s Samsung again with a familiar rival, Motorola. Both companies launched their over $1,000 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola RAZR, respectively.

But it looks like users aren’t jumping on the bandwagon just yet. Complaints are continuing to pile. Is it possible that customers are just biased considering their experience with the Samsung Galaxy Fold? Should you buy a foldable smartphone just yet? Well, you probably need to wait just a little longer. Read on to understand our point of view.

samsung galaxy z flip frandroid 2021

When the Galaxy Fold’s early reviewer units broke, the launch was delayed for five months as Samsung went after a solution. The launch went well after Samsung made changes to the screen.

The new phones are not anything like Samsung says they are. Samsung claims the Galaxy Z Flip sports a glass display. This claim is contrary to findings by JerryRigEverything, the popular Youtube channel which says the display is plastic.

In a hardness test, the channel discovered that the Z Flip’s screen scratches just like plastic and was not nearly as resistant to damage or as hard as glass. Samsung’s San Francisco press conference called the phone’s display UTG or “Ultra-Thin Glass.”

Here’s how bad it is – even a fingernail can scratch the screen permanently, just like the Galaxy Fold.

The Z Flip’s screen feels sturdier than the flimsy screen on the Galaxy Fold. Samsung’s warning on both phones asks users to “avoid pressing hard on the screen or the front camera lens,” and to ensure there’s nothing on the screen when folding it close. You can replace the screen one time for $119, Samsung says.

The RAZR Fails Where the Fold and Z Flip Faltered

Just when you think someone would get it right, Motorola boldly declares it won’t be the one. The Motorola RAZR’s display is also breaking. In fact, the screen of the RAZR is already separating from its body, seeing full damage after only a few days.

It appears there are quality control issues with the border and hinge of the RAZR.

Like Samsung, Motorola is passing the buck to the customer – your warranty would cover the device if you haven’t abused or misused it.

Foldable SmartPhones

Pros and Cons of Foldable SmartPhones

Pros

  • Larger screen area
  • Better hardware
  • Large (dual) batteries
  • Even more cameras for photos and videos in open and closed modes
  • Compact and more convenient

Cons

  • High price tags
  • Pocket-unfriendly due to devices’ thickness
  • Not great for productivity
  • Not thoroughly tested

Still Want to Buy a Foldable Phone?

Motorola and Samsung dithered on sharing their new devices with tech reviewers. Customers had the phone before reviewers in Motorola’s case. However, Samsung’s approach is to let reviewers test the Z Flip for 24 hours only.

The Motorola RAZR’s issues are more profound. No one knows how widespread the problem is, but most users aren’t exactly pleased with the phone.

It may not be wise to dismiss the idea of foldable phones with a wave of the hand. There is so much room for improvement. We can rest assured they will inspire improved versions of current successful phone designs.

Until foldable smartphones have durable glass displays that don’t damage easily, you should not waste your money on a foldable phone.

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Avatar of Lucy Smith
Lucy Smith
Lucy is an Editorial Director at Shopbot Reviews. She oversees the New Zealand team and has been writing about tech and video games for most of her adult life.
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