The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is facing some new controversy over its use of glass in advertising. The spec sheet claims that the display is covered with “Ultra Thin Glass,” a flexible glass that would logically provide more protection than the plastic of older foldable devices.
Unfortunately, JerryRigEverything’s torture test of the device proved otherwise. In fact, what we saw was just as soft and fragile as plastic. A fingernail could gouge the display. Could Samsung have lied? Well no. They claim there’s still glass underneath, but there’s a layer of plastic on top.
Now JerryRigEverything has torn down the device, and a few interesting things stand out. First of all, the layer under the plastic is confirmed to be folding glass. It shatters like glass and likely provides a bit more rigidity for the display, maybe preventing waviness. However the plastic is what the user interacts with, so it feels no better and it fares no better with daily use.
Another interesting aspect is the hinge protection that Samsung talked about during the press conference. They installed brushes on the hinge to keep particles out, something that was an issue on the Galaxy Fold. The video shown off during the announcement showed these long fiber brushes along the hinge, but the reality is that there’s a small brush on each side covering the ends. It looks nothing like the video. It works pretty well, to be clear, but it’s strangely different from what Samsung showed off.
We return to a strange situation. Samsung did not lie about any of this; there were no false statements given. We indeed have glass on the display and brushes in the hinge. But both statements seem oddly disingenuous and, while true, almost misleading. It’s not a good look for Samsung or the Galaxy Z Flip, but that doesn’t make the Z Flip a bad phone.