Are foldable smartphones durable?

Foldable phones are gaining popularity and are close to becoming mainstream. We know how companies claim that they are the "next big thing." Is it worth buying a foldable phone? Before making a decision, several factors need to be considered.

There is no doubt that foldable phones are becoming increasingly popular and are likely to become mainstream within the next few years. Considering the ever-increasing screens and yet smaller footprints of the future, we must ask ourselves: are foldable phones worth it in 2022? Let's take a look.

Emergence Of The Foldable Phones

In the last 15 years, phones have largely looked the same outside, except for the phone and screen size increasing every iteration since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. In response to our perception that innovation had slowed down for smartphones, the industry started focusing on an unusual form factor: the foldable phone.

And The Foldable Phone Revolution

One of the mainstream companies, Samsung, announced its foldable phone lineup in 2019 known as the Galaxy Fold Series, which spearheaded the folding phone revolution launched by Royole Flexpai in 2018. There has been an explosion of popularity for foldable phones since then. The cumulative worldwide shipment of foldable has reached 11.5 million units by the end of 2021, according to Omdia. The same report estimates that foldable phones shipped 9 Million units in 2021, an increase of 309% compared with the previous year.

Challenges Remain

Although the numbers appear to be good for foldable phones, challenges remain. Today's consumers prefer larger screens for both content consumption and creation, but in a much more pocketable size. It is true, however, that consumers expect the same things from foldable as they do from normal smartphones these days - a great camera and a long battery life. Foldables have some limitations due to their innovative form factors, but these should be addressed in the next few iterations or launches by other price points.

The high price point of foldable phones is another challenge. The latest Samsung foldable phones start at Rs 89,999. The Galaxy Z Flip4 is priced at Rs 89,999, while the Galaxy Z Fold4 is priced at Rs 1,54,999. It is expected that foldable will be available at more affordable prices in a market like India, where price awareness is high.

An unavoidable feature of these phones is the small crease that will always exist on your smartphone screen when the smartphone folds.

Myths About Foldable Phones

The advent of folding screens is an exciting new feature for many cell phone users. Still, they pose risks for others since many people have misconceptions about security, cost, durability, and battery life.

Listed below are some of the myths surrounding these devices.

1.The screen is very delicate

In the case of Samsung, ultra-thin glass technology (UTG) allows the glass to bend without breaking. Some models can do this because the screen glass has a thickness of 0.03 millimeters, and the surface of the screen is covered with a very thin layer of plastic to prevent scratches. Consequently, users will not have to worry about damaging their device's screen by touching it.

Furthermore, these devices do not fold completely or in the same way as paper, but rather with a small curvature on the hinge, making them easy to notice to the touch, but durable.

Earlier versions of foldable smartphones did have the problem of the screen cracking up due to the constant folding and unfolding but it seems we have come a great deal ahead since then.

2. The battery is not good enough

It is possible to find foldable phones with variable charge capacities, and their usage will determine how long they will last. A folding phone's battery life will depend not only on its charging capacity but also on how it is used. It is common for these types of devices to have batteries between 2,800 mAh and 4,500 mAh, and depending on both their use and their charging frequency, they may last many hours.

3. A folding smartphone cannot get wet

A smartphone that can withstand this type of exposure to the environment has previously been certified, so users can be sure that they will not experience any malfunctions from accidents involving water or dust.

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Flip3 models are the only water-resistant foldable smartphones. The Income Protection (IP) certification appears on many devices along with two numbers; the first number varies between 1 and 6, and refers to a protection factor against solid materials (such as dust particles); while the second number indicates protection against water.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Flip3 are the only foldable phones certified IPX8, the highest level against water. These phones can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without presenting any inconvenience, thanks to this special protection. They can only be wetted with water and still function, even though they are not dust-resistant.

4. Big screens aren't helpful for productivity

The large screen that characterizes foldable smartphones contributes greatly to productivity thanks to the ability to use multiple apps simultaneously. An important characteristic of folding smartphones is their ability to run multiple applications simultaneously. The public can also take advantage of the folding screen because, in addition to being able to do several activities at the same time its portability is a favorable feature for the lifestyle of entrepreneurs and businessmen, whether for the convenience of reading documents, making video calls, etc.

Additional Things about Foldable Phone

  1. Repair Complexity: Many manuals and tech review websites have discussed the complexity levels of foldable phones. The ratings range from low difficulty to high difficulty. The analysis takes into account several factors including dust/debris issues and tear and wear conditions. Also, there are no DIY repairs that you can do on your own.

    Samsung, Motorola, and iPhone have all been tested and received points accordingly. The Apple iPhone 11 has done a great job; the Google Pixel 4XL is the runner-up. However, Samsung and Motorola have received comments regarding improvements.

  2. Expensive Maintenance: You might enjoy the foldable phone's features, but its maintenance may burn a hole in your pocket. There has been a lot of hype surrounding foldable phones in the mobile market. The market is currently dominated by expensive products that are only accessible to a few people. Those who enjoy trying out new technology and things do not bother with high investments. Every new evolution or innovation has its pros and cons, including foldable phones. A primary concern about UI /UX design is managing the proper appearance, layout, and orientation shift. Furthermore, repairing and restoring faded gleams and scratched screens is a challenge.

    The work and efficiency of designers and developers must be upgraded to meet market demands. It is necessary to manage the proper fetching and delivery of features on folded screens. It is their responsibility to manage everything in a unique way to satisfy the needs of the user. Managing the critical aspects of every development phase requires a clever roadmap by designers/developers. As a consequence, they have to launch more accessories or additional guards to reduce the risk.

    This issue must be taken into consideration by manufacturers if foldable phones are to remain popular. They are focusing on reducing damage risks since maintenance charges would not be as comfortable as regular smartphones.

The Industry's Stance On Foldable Smartphones:

Consumers and industry members were sceptical when Royole Flexpai, the first folding phone, was announced in 2018. The high price tag, 1st-generation technology, and durability questions were among the many reasons to be sceptical of the folding form factor. But the foldable market has seen a sharp rise in the last four years, and the smartphone industry is slowly moving toward folding smartphones.


The foldable phone market is unquestionably dominated by Samsung, with no one even remotely close to matching their sales figures. A total of 9 million units of foldable were shipped in 2021, 8 million of those in the second half of the year when Samsung launched their Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 phones.

Samsung's new foldable devices Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 are now dominating the market.


With the Oppo Find N, Oppo enters the folding phone category for the first time. Oppo has made waves in the industry on its first attempt despite being late to the game. Its Find N phone offers some designs, functionalities, and features that often surpass those of its competitors while maintaining a lower price point.


The company doesn't yet have a foldable device on the market, but numerous leaks and rumors suggest they're working on one. In the meantime, Google has been optimizing its apps and operating system for foldable phones and tablets in the software department.


Despite Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold's failure to reach its sales expectations, it created a customer base that Xiaomi seems to support well. It is still receiving updates that improve the foldable experience, also Xiaomi released the Mi Mix 2.

Conclusion: Are They Worth It?

Given the high price of foldable phones, the benefits don't seem to outweigh the drawbacks. The situation will change in a few years, however. Foldable technology is just getting started, and there are many reasons to be excited about its potential.

Today, smartphones are an inseparable part of our lives. When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, the only thing it could do was play music, make phone calls, and access websites that weren't even optimized for mobile devices. We couldn't have imagined that someday, a car would be waiting for us downstairs and groceries would be at our doorsteps, all with just a few swipes on our smartphones. Looking backwards is the only way to connect the dots, as Steve Jobs once said.

Even though folding phones aren't the perfect device for most users right now, with enough improvements within the next few years, they could become a stepping stone to something much better: a single device that fits into our pockets for all occasions and circumstances.


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