JerryRigEverything is a YouTube phenomenon that even rugged smartphones should fear. With a variety or sharp, blunt and hot implements, he tests phones and tablets to their limits, and few manage to come out in pristine condition. Here he is tormenting an innocent Huawei P30 Pro, to give you a taste of what to expect.
Given Samsung’s pessimistic sounding care video, you can’t imagine the Galaxy Fold responding well to this particular treatment, and sure enough, it makes for painful watching – especially for a handset that costs £1900.
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After the initial comparison to a previously mutilated Royale FlexPai is out of the way, things get under way, and the outside screen is about as rugged as other smartphones, getting scratches at level six and seven of the Mohs scale.
The inside screen, however, is another story with scratches appearing on level two – as low as the video tests for. “The Galaxy Fold has a screen hardness comparable to Play Doh, soffy bread or a $2000 stick of chewing gum,” JerryRigEverything says. “Even my fingernail can do considerable damage to the screen.”
It gets worse. Suffice it to say Samsung means it when it says it’s not dust resistant. In the video, JerryRigEverything tips some sand on to the middle screen, then closes it. While most tips out of the gap at the bottom, even after using a mini vacuum to clean it up, some grains are now lodged into the hinge mechanism, causing some unpleasant crunchy noises when it’s opened and closed.
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While most people won’t keep their Galaxy Fold near a knife, the next part still hurts. While scraping the side, JerryRigEveything accidentally pokes the side of the internal screen, which kills several rows of pixels at the top, including the touch sensitivity. As he points out: this wouldn’t happen with a normal phone screen.
Surprisingly, that’s where the main misery ends, as the middle screen copes better than expected with a lighter – the plastic doesn’t melt or bubble, although the pixels do burn eventually. Then it’s on to the bend test, and surprisingly the hinge copes brilliantly, proving impossible to break with hands alone, and still functioning despite a light curve. As JerryRigEverything points out, even the iPad Pro didn’t survive this kind of punishment, so it feels like Samsung’s boasts about the new and improved hinge are correct.
Still: with the earlier scratch and dust damage, overall the Galaxy Fold still counts as a bit fragile in our book. Handle with care.
Do you think Samsung has done enough to make the Galaxy Fold strong enough for everyday life? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.