Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip has something that’s been on no other foldable phone to date: a folding glass screen. So far, every foldable phone and tablet has relied on plastic to cover up the display. It feels worse, dents easily, and likely contributed to their delicate builds. Glass was always hoped to be the future, whenever manufacturers could figure out how to make it.
The phone’s display uses “ultra-thin glass” durable enough to withstand 200,000 folds, Samsung says. It refers to the technology as “revolutionary flexible glass,” and says that it’s “built to last.” Samsung says the glass is “proprietary,” suggesting it was made in house, and has branded the tech as “Ultra Thin Glass.”
Because it’s glass, the display should be sturdier and look and feel better. But it’s still new technology, and it may weaken over time as it’s continually creased and unfolded. It’s not clear that this will entirely solve folding phones’ other durability issues, either. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold initially broke, in part because the hinge mechanism allowed dirt to get underneath the display, damaging it. Glass might help (and Samsung says it’s made other changes to protect against dust, too), but it’s by no means the only piece of the design puzzle.