Since their inception, durability has been a pressing concern for foldable devices, as evidenced by the launch issues that plagued the original Galaxy Fold. The Z Flip and Z Fold2 represent a significant leap in build quality with design refinements and significant improvements to the hinge mechanism. But even with these changes, there is still a noticeable lack of any IP rating; After all, it’s much more difficult to make something waterproof with moving parts. Thankfully, Samsung may have found a way to provide some level of anti-intrusion protection to the upcoming Z Flip2 and Z Fold3.
SamMobile reports that there are rumors about these phones with an official IP rating, but it is not known what level of protection this might be. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has an IP68 rating, which means it has to withstand being immersed in water or dust 1.5m deep for 30 minutes. This phone is relatively easy to protect: foreign objects can only enter through the charging port, microphones, speakers, gaps around the buttons and the SIM card tray. On the other hand, the folding mechanism has a complex mechanism of moving parts that makes the hinge work. Trying to protect this system without compromising durability or uptime is not an easy task.
While IP68 may be too much to demand right now, I guess an IP53 rating might be possible. The original Google Pixel was IP53 certified, making the phone splash-proof. Although it was not immune to full immersion, it was able to withstand small amounts of water without pressure, such as rain. Such a lower rating may be far from what we find on most modern flagships, but given the complexity of foldable devices, I would appreciate any protection for my investment over $ 2,000.
We won’t know for sure what IP rating the Z Flip2 and Z Fold3 will have to offer, if any, until they are released later this year. But with the huge improvements Samsung has made to its 2020 offerings, I’m sure foldable devices will be just as impressive this year. For more information on what IP ratings are and how they are calculated, we have a helpful explanation.