The very first Samsung foldable phone in 2019 looked like a marvel but easily caved in under pressure. Given its unique design, particularly its hinges, it wasn’t exactly surprising to learn that the Galaxy Fold couldn’t live up to its peers in terms of dust and water resistance. Since then, Samsung has worked hard to improve the durability of its foldable phones, inside and out. This year’s generation will even be waterproof, according to the latest leak, but it still has one Achilles’ heel common to all foldable phones.
Unlike a conventional smartphone slab, a foldable phone increases the potential entry points for particles and water, particularly at the hinges. Ever since the OG Galaxy Fold, Samsung has avoided giving its foldable phones any formal IP rating. It seems that Samsung is confident that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 have sufficiently improved in some regard to change that status quo.
According to tech journalist Max Weinbach, both of these 2021 foldable phones will be rated at IPX8. This is the first time that a Samsung foldable phone, or any foldable phone for that matter, will be carrying an official water resistance rating. This figure theoretically means that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 can be immersed in water for 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters without incurring any significant water damage.
Unfortunately, that “X” in the rating means that there is absolutely no guaranteed dust resistance at all. It isn’t exactly surprising given how small particles have been known to get inside those hinges, something that all foldable phone makers still have to perfect. That said, Samsung did introduce some measure of protection with its unique brush-like mechanism, but not enough to pass the standardized IP rating tests.
This leak does inspire a bit of confidence that foldable phones are finally getting there in matching their “normal” brethren’s features. It might still be a while before the dust ingress problem is completely addressed, but, at least for now, it seems that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 could be the most durable foldable phones to date.