“Foldable screen technology has come a long way from its humble beginnings. But are foldable displays finally durable enough?”
Foldable phones have grown in prominence over the past year or so. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and then the subsequent release of the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung has managed to gain a bit of a lead in the market. And now, with the expected launch of the Galaxy Fold 2 on August 5, the phone maker will look to further consolidate its position in the segment.
The Galaxy Fold 2 will look to build on the good work that Samsung put into its first generation of foldable phones, especially the Galaxy Z Flip which got overall better reviews not only for its design and performance but also for the durability of its foldable screen. Unlike the first generation Galaxy Fold, the Z Flip emerged as a much more refined device, whose display did not throw up as many issues when it came to durability.
Improvements in ultra-thin glass for foldable phones
A big reason for this improved durability on the Z Flip was the use of protective ultra-thin glass made by a German company, Schott Xensation as opposed to the use of a plastic sheet on the screen of the Galaxy Fold. Though not a household name in India, the German specialty glassmaker is quite a big player in the protective glass business. It is the main rival to Corning, which is known by many for its Gorilla Glass series of protective glasses for smartphones.
However, because Corning still remains a little behind Schott Xensation in the foldable glass technology, it now appears the Galaxy Fold 2 could also use a variation of Schott’s ultra-thin glass for protection of its display. Having already used a sheet of Schott made foldable glass that’s 30-micron in thickness for the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung could now use a much thinner sheet on the Galaxy Fold 2. For the uninitiated, when it comes to the foldable glass, the thinner the sheet the better its ability to withstand breakage due to folding.
Which brings us to the question, “Will the Galaxy Fold 2 be more durable than the Galaxy Fold?” Well, the answer to this is possibly yes, but we don’t expect the Galaxy Fold 2 to be a game-changer in this regard. Rather, it will most likely be an incremental upgrade that goes on to make foldable phoned more popular with buyers in the years to come.
With bottlenecks in curved glass technology still very much a reality, there will still be cases where foldable screens will break, and the occasional buyer will rue their decision to buy an expensive foldable phone. However, what’s important to note here, is that the industry is moving in the right direction, and soon at this pace, foldable phone displays will become as durable as those present on conventional smartphones. For now, it only appears to be a matter of “when” and not “if”.