One of the biggest reasons why foldables have not hit the mainstream yet is because of the durability. Well, the biggest reason is due to the price, but another reason is that they still aren’t considered to be anywhere near as durable as something like the Galaxy S21 or OnePlus 9’s of the world.
Combine the absurd pricing ($2,000 and up) with a lack of something as integral as an IP water and dust resistance rating, and there’s just not enough confidence that the phone will survive daily usage. However, we may finally be nearing a point where that isn’t the case, for the most part at least.
In his latest torture test, JerryRigEverything got his hands on the $3,000 Huawei Mate X2 to see just how durable this beautiful phone is.
All things considered, the Mate X2 actually performed quite well during the course of this torture test. The cover display and frame of the phone survived the testing. This should come as no surprise though, as this is the part of the phone that is more like your “traditional” handsets with a combination of glass, aluminum, and plastic around the charging port).
The real test began when the phone was unfolded, revealing the plastic-covered inner display. This scratched with a Mohs level 2 pick, which again is unsurprising, as you can even leave indentations in the screen with nothing more than a fingernail. Then, a lighter flame is taken to both the outer and inner display, with the outer display lasts for about 25 seconds before a permanent white spot appears and does not go away. As for the inner display? The flame is held up to it for about 10 seconds before it goes black and does not recover.
Rounding things out, JerryRigEverything provided a little bit of a bend test. Surprisingly, the Mate X2 survives, suffering no damage from being bent “backward”. This is thanks to the design where the aluminum back and edges surrounding the display provide added stability to keep the phone from being bent the wrong way.
This is not an indication that a foldable smartphone is just as durable as your traditional handset. However, it does show that we are getting closer to that possibility. It’s just going to take a little bit longer for phone makers to improve the inner glass.