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Foldable clamshell smartphones, a captivating and enticing blend of retro and future tech, have been sparking interest, and it's easy to see why. The compact form factor, coupled with a sleek folding design, offers an undeniably charming appeal -- perfect for selfie addicts, video messengers, and people with small pockets.
Yet, engineering a smartphone that can elegantly fold and can still withstand the test of time is no easy feat.
So, how do you enhance the durability of a device that essentially hinges on, well, a hinge?
Samsung's new foldable smartphones sport a redesigned, gapless hinge, effectively transforming a former weakness into a strength. When the device folds, the top and bottom halves seamlessly meet, creating a barrier against the inevitable bombardment of pocket lint, crumbs, and detritus that routinely infiltrates our devices.
Further fortification comes in the form of a rubber strip lining the inner bezel, acting as both a shock absorber and a guard against dust infiltration. Anyone who's witnessed a folding device meet its untimely end due to hinge-related issues arising will welcome this design evolution.
Another vulnerability arises when the two display halves come into direct contact. Ideally, this wouldn't pose an issue, but the reality of phones living in the turbulent environments of pockets and bags tells a different story. Keen to protect against this inherent risk, Samsung has introduced an extra absorption layer underneath the display panels, a first in the clamshell foldable industry. This layer aims to evenly distribute the pressures the displays encounter when folded against each other.
"There is a new absorption layer at the very bottom of the layer panels, which helps mitigate the shock from external pressure." Blake Gaiser, Director of Product Management, Samsung Electronics America.
And the improved design carried forward the IPX8 water resistance.
Samsung's significant investment in durability-focused R&D is clear. Now, it remains to be seen whether these innovative enhancements will truly stand the test of the wild once the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 are released into the hands of consumers around the globe.