Samsung foldable phones, as attractive as they were, raised concerns about their long-term viability, particularly after the first Galaxy Fold failed spectacularly in just a few weeks.
Foldable phones are a great deal of fun. However, the technology that allows for foldable displays is still in its infancy, making it prohibitively costly. When you add the cost to the display’s overall fragility, you get a customer base wary of investing in a product that could be destroyed by a splash of water or a plunge into the mud.
Samsung’s 2021 foldable smartphones are due out in a few months, and according to a new report, they will be the first of their kind to receive an official IP rating for water and dust resistance.
The so-called Ingress Protection or IP rating is still a point of contention among phone manufacturers. In a nutshell, this is an industry standard that specifies how much and for how long a product can withstand dust and water damage. For example, most phones with the highest IP68 rating can withstand immersion in water up to 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes.
An IP rating can aid in persuading a buyer that the phone’s durability is unquestionable.
Having an IP certification is costly, as OnePlus often points out. It entails buying equipment and paying fees per device type, with the expense ultimately passed on to customers. Some phone manufacturers conduct their own stress tests, while others consider the double-digit IP ranking to be a reliable source of customer trust.
That may be the angle Samsung is going for with the rumor that both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will have some kind of IP ranking. Unfortunately, the scoop isn’t accompanied by a figure, but it’s better than nothing and trusting Samsung’s word for it.
These will be the first consumer foldable phones with IP ratings if the speculation is true.
However, neither foldable is likely to have the gold standard IP rating of IP68, which we see on “normal” flagships. The number “6” denotes the highest possible rating against dust and other physical objects, while “8” denotes the second-highest rating against water.
It’s likely that the phones will have IP54 scores, which means they’ll be safe against the majority of dust particles and splashes of water.
The two devices could be unveiled as soon as July, and they appear to be the only foldables that the Korean company plans to release this year. The Fold3 has been widely rumored to support the S Pen, but without a built-in place to tuck it (so it’s more like the Galaxy S21 Ultra than any of the Galaxy Notes in that regard).
With news of a new and sturdier Ultra-Thin Glass (UTC) panel, and suggestions of a “Armored Frame,” it appears that this year’s Galaxy foldables will be the most durable yet. As impressive as it might sound, it simply means that foldable phones, as well as potential rollable phones, will still be catching up to what is now the industry norm.