The first generation of foldable smartphones was infamous for durability problems, with the original Galaxy Fold being pulled before launch and redesigned due to some severe problems. A few years later, though, Samsung has come a remarkable way, even offering water resistance in new models. Now, a durability test is pushing the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to its limits, and it’s holding up well.

In one of its infamous torture tests, YouTube channel JerryRigEverything put the Galaxy Z Fold 3 through a serious durability trial. That starts with scratching the screens. This, of course, had no surprises. The outer screen’s Gorilla Glass Victus coating was in line with every other glass-slab smartphone, with the back panel using the same material.

The inner display, meanwhile, was still very easy to damage. Despite the much stronger plastic screen protector, scratches still came at low levels on the Moh’s hardness scale, and a fingernail could still do some damage, but the S Pen, even with its abnormally strong spring-tip, didn’t leave any permanent marks. Samsung’s “Armor Aluminum” still scratches when a razor blade comes in contact, just like other high-end phones.

All of that, however, is expected and in line with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2. The bigger deal this year comes with the hinge, which seems to be even stronger. A handful of rocks and dust far beyond what most people would encounter didn’t get inside of the hinge or cause any problems, probably thanks to the bristles that Samsung introduced on the Galaxy Z Flip. Last year’s Fold 2 did have trouble with this test.

A strong bend test rounds out the test, with the Fold 3 making one heart-attack-inducing sound but ultimately surviving without any fuss.

This test really speaks to how much better Samsung has become at making foldable smartphones. Going from a public failure to something as impressive as the Fold 3 in just three years is truly astounding, and a good sign of what the future holds for this technology. Foldable phones are clearly catching on.

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Ben Schoon

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