The designs of folding smartphones are not leaders in strength, but they are still beginning to make some progress. This even applies to water and dust resistance. Moreover, over time, the Samsung Galaxy Fold reached the point where it became more and more difficult to damage the case, which adds credibility to the inexpensive gadget. But, unfortunately, the first Google Pixel Fold model can’t show off anything like this yet.
Predictably, blogger Zach Nelson (or JerryRigEverything) got his hands on his own sample of the first foldable smartphone from Google and conducted its standard series of device endurance tests. And although some of his scenarios are unlikely to be reproduced in real use, a few points are still worth noting.
Let’s start with the fact that the Google Pixel Fold does not use any fundamentally new case materials. Therefore, it is possible to damage the external glass or metal in the same way as on other, even premium and expensive models. But the protection of the internal display additionally needs extra attention.
Until the developers find a way out, the protection of internal displays will remain very conditional – plastic. You can literally damage it with a fingernail. Add to that the $1800 cost and other problems with a screen, a potential buyer’s desire to experiment with such a smartphone may suffer greatly.
Also, one of Mr. Nelson’s tests is the display’s response to fire. Predictably, the pixels of OLED displays suffer from this temperature. But the unexpected effect was another: when the internal screen was heated, the smartphone quickly turned off and it took an extra minute to regain consciousness. The information message declared overheating.
As the video author himself notes, in 10 years of such tests, the Pixel Fold became the first to turn off during this experiment.
But the biggest problem was the strength of the entire structure. After opening the smartphone, it can be turned out with minimal effort. At the same time, the hinge itself is not a weak link, because the body itself cannot withstand it. By adding a little more force, you can even “open” the smartphone and look inside. And such a “trick” is performed only once. Of course, the internal display completely fails in this case. As is the case with monoblock designs, the weakest points were the junctions with the antennas.
Here it is worth noting that Samsung Galaxy Fold4 – the main competitor of Google Pixel Fold – successfully passed this test.
On the other hand, the Pixel Fold’s fingerprint sensor continued to work even after severe damage, and a significant amount of dust did not become a problem for the hinge or other parts of the smartphone.