iFixit has posted a video teardown of Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip, giving us good look at the phone’s internals and revealing that the brushes on its hinge might not stop much dust from getting inside your phone.
When Samsung announced the Z Flip last week, it highlighted how the phone’s hinge has a “fiber shield” intended to trap stray dust and keep it from getting inside the phone. You can see Samsung’s zoomed-in marketing photo of it below. It looks impressive in the marketing photo, but iFixit put that fiber shield to the test — and the results weren’t great.
For the test, iFixit folded up the Z Flip and dropped it into a bag of purple dust. After taking the phone out of the bag, iFixit shook a lot of dust out of the phone, which you can see in the GIF below. Enough dust got inside the phone that it even stopped the hinge from opening up all the way.
Here’s what that hinge looks like on the inside. You can clearly see a lot of the purple dust caught in it:
Here’s the hinge completely removed from the phone — and covered in purple dust. You can also see the fiber shields outlined by iFixit’s white rectangles. Interestingly, they look quite clean, possibly suggesting that they don’t actually trap that much dust.
It’s important to note that Samsung says in a support doc that the Z Flip isn’t water or dust resistant, and a splash screen says something similar when you first turn on the phone, according to iFixit. And iFixit acknowledges that its bag test isn’t necessarily indicative of normal, real-world use, so perhaps the Z Flip’s fibers are better designed for repelling day-to-day pocket lint than the very fine powder that iFixit used.
Note that iFixit’s video isn’t of the site’s usual full-scale teardown — the full Z Flip teardown is supposed to go live here at 3 a.m. ET.
The Galaxy Z Flip has also been torn down by Zack Nelson on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and his teardown gives us a great look at Samsung’s “Ultra Thin Glass” display.
In Nelson’s recent durability test video, the screen showed marks and scratches like a plastic screen would, even though the screen is advertised to be glass. When asked about Nelson’s video, Samsung told The Verge that the display is indeed glass, but has a “protective layer” on top, which Nelson’s teardown video confirms:
Nelson found that when he removed that protective layer, the screen stops working — much like how the screen on the original Galaxy Fold wouldn’t work if you peeled off a similar screen protector. The Z Flip’s bezel seems as if it’s better designed than the original Fold to keep that layer in place, but if it does begin peeling, your screen might not work like it’s supposed to.
And if you needed proof that the screen is glass, here’s what the glass looks like after Nelson scrapes it:
Both Nelson’s and iFixit’s teardown videos show that the Galaxy Z Flip is a pretty impressive piece of engineering — but they also show that the phone has some flaws that could lead to durability issues at some point.