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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip should be more durable than the troubled Galaxy Fold

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A ‘fiber shield’ in the hinge traps dust

Samsung announced its newest folding phone, the Z Flip, at its annual Galaxy event today, but the company promises it won’t be plagued with the same problems as its other folding phone, the Galaxy Fold.

The Z Flip is Samsung’s second foldable phone, following last year’s Galaxy Fold. The Z Flip’s 6.7-inch display folds into a pocketable square shape, and the phone has an ultra-thin flexible glass display that should resist scratches better than the plastic screen it currently uses on the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung says the Z Flip is a more durable foldable phone, and can be folded and unfolded over 200,000 times. The phone’s hinge also has some adjustments. The hinge is where folding phones are most vulnerable, as this tiny gap between the hinge and screen leaves an opportunity for dust and sand to get inside. Samsung says it has placed a layer of fibers inside that space, which create a “fiber shield” to trap any stray particles.

But it seems that there are still some caveats to the design. In a recent Academy Awards commercial that showed off the Z Flip, small print noted that “You may notice a small crease in the center of the main screen, which is a natural characteristic of the screen.”

A crease is bothersome, but it’s a minor annoyance if that’s all Z Flip owners have to worry about. Consider that this phone comes in the wake of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which was a disaster when review units were shipped out last year. There were reports of screens breaking after a day or two, hinge problems that damaged the phone’s flexible OLED panel, and tiny crevices that allowed dust to get under the screen. After some tweaks, the second version of the Galaxy Fold fixed up these issues, but it’s still built with a plastic screen that my colleague Dieter Bohn said is “really soft and can easily get dinged up.”

Whether the Z Flip can hold up to Samsung’s promises remains to be seen, but it looks like foldable phones are going to be a thing, at least for the foreseeable future.

Samsung’s Z Flip costs $1,380 and will be available on February 14th.