Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


A tech YouTuber may have just settled the great foldable phone debate of 2023

It was basically a sit-up contest between the best flip phones of the year, and the winner won by a long shot.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Flex View
June Wan/ZDNET

If there's one thing we can count on YouTubers to do, it's put technology products through the absolute extremes -- from freezing iPhones to running them over with a car

Case in point: Mrkeybrd, a Polish YouTuber, spent the past seven days flipping open and closing the Motorola Razr Plus and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 to see how many reps each one can support before breaking. It's basically a sit-up contest between the best flip phones of the year, with the last one standing being the most durable of the two.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 breaks records, accounts for 70% of preorders

While both devices are rated for 200,000-fold lifespans by their respective manufacturers, the results were drastically different, for better and worse. Here's the breakdown, what it means, and why it's worth taking the testing process with a grain of salt.

Mrkeybrd's folding test involved repeatedly opening and closing the two flip phones, with team members taking turns every 30 minutes. The test, which was live-streamed starting on August 2 and ending on the 9th, showed the Motorola Razr Plus lasting for 126,300 folds before breaking and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 lasting for 401,146 folds. 

Also: Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a new screen layering design, and it's a big deal

In fact, while the Moto was on the sideline, Mrkeybrd stress-tested the Z Flip 5 by folding it underwater for 30 minutes, in a bucket full of sand, and even in flour batter and other coarse materials. The Z Flip survived it all.

Mrkeybrd Flip Phone Stress Test

A screenshot of the live-streamed stress test.


Some quick math suggests that the Galaxy foldable is more than three times longer-lasting than the Moto, and that's a big deal considering 1) both devices cost the same ($999) and 2) that's more than double Samsung's marketed fold rating of 200,000. Did Samsung purposely underpromise so it can overdeliver?

The answer is not so simple, as is often the case with these stress test videos. As Mrkeybrd suggests in a follow-up, the main reason why neither device matched Samsung and Motorola's durability claims is because manufacturers typically use a machine to calculate the fold rating, not humans sitting at a table (I hope not, at least).

Also: Samsung's new foldables have one very important feature no one is talking about

That means that, unlike a human tester who unconsciously applies varying levels of force when holding, flipping, and managing the phones, a factory machine produces a controlled, consistent amount of pressure per fold.

The big takeaway here is that no matter which of the two foldables you plan on buying (or have already bought) you can expect them to last long enough before your next big upgrade. At an average of 60 folds per day, the Motorola Razr Plus, based on Mrkeybrd's video, should hold up for at least five years. And for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the lifespan can reach as high as 18 years.

Editorial standards