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About 120,000 automated folds Samsung Galaxy Fold breaks after robotic folds test

After an attempted launch this past spring marred by complaints of screen problems on preproduction review units, Samsung’s foldable phone was released Sept. 27 with key design changes and a more durable construction. The phone costs $1,980 and retains the novel feature that made headlines when Samsung teased the device back in November 2018 — a foldable screen that can bend, flex and open up into a tablet-sized, 7.3-inch screen.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally out in the wild after the initial April launch was delayed due to durability issues. But just how durable is the foldable phone now?

CNET decided to put the Galaxy Fold to the test, borrowing a testing robot from warranty company Square Trade to automatically fold and unfold the Samsung device.

The outlet posted a live-stream of the test (seen above), as the robot folded the Galaxy Fold roughly three times a second. The end-result? After 119,380 folds (see 3:28:21), the Samsung foldable’s hinge lost its snap and half the screen went dead. At 120,168 folds, the device’s hinge got stuck, refusing to open without a bit of elbow grease.

This is roughly 80,000 folds short of Samsung’s internal testing, which states that the Galaxy Fold is designed for 200,000 folds. Samsung says 200,000 folds is equivalent to five years of use if folded 100 times a day. If the device actually lasts for 120,168 folds, that’s equivalent to just over three years of use if folded 100 times a day.

It’s worth noting that this test isn’t necessarily comparable to a human opening and closing the device. This is because the robot seems to use more force than a human would, while the repetitive nature of the test isn’t representative of a human using the device either.

In fact, Samsung’s own testing video seems to show a more deliberate, measured pace. Then again, this video tested the original Galaxy Fold, and we all know about its defects. So maybe a more forceful test was needed after all.

What do you make of this folding test? Let us know what you think below

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