Galaxy Z Fold 5 “waterdrop” hinge undergoes month-long reliability test


Samsung‘s 2023 foldables could look a lot different from their predecessors. The company is upgrading to a new “waterdrop” hinge design that will make the devices thinner and also reduce the crease on the display. But these improvements shouldn’t come with a compromise on durability. To ensure that, Samsung will reportedly run a month-long reliability test of the new hinge for the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

According to the Korean media, Samsung’s extensive evaluation process will include a folding test. The company plans to fold the hinge and the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s foldable panel at least 200,000 times over 4-5 days to check its strength. The screen must retain more than 85 percent of its initial strength for the hinge to be considered a durable solution. Overall, the Korean firm is seeing 300,000 folds as the upper limit for the hardware.

If you recall, Samsung’s previous foldables were also rated to survive at least 200,000 folds. It appears the company isn’t going above that figure this year either. That’s enough for 100 folds every day for more than five years, though. So it shouldn’t be a problem. But Oppo, which is emerging as a threat to Samsung in the foldable market, claims its Find N2 and Find N2 Flip can withstand 400,000 folds. The Korean firm may have lost one physiological battle here.

Nonetheless, Samsung plans to finalize the design of the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s waterdrop hinge after the completion of this month-long reliability test. It may make changes if necessary. The company plans to begin the production of the hardware in May. Korean firm KH Vatech will manufacture the hinge, The Elec reports. Oppo and other Chinese vendors are sourcing waterdrop hinges for their foldables from American company Amphenol.

The waterdrop hinge will reduce the weight and thickness of the Galaxy Z Fold 5

A waterdrop-shaped hinge will address three major complaints with Samsung’s foldable smartphones. Firstly, it is said to reduce the thickness of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to under 14mm. The device will also be uniformly thick. The Galaxy Z Fold 4‘s thickness ranges between 14.2-15.8mm when folded. This change will also bring the weight down. While we don’t have a number to share, the past two Fold models weighed 263 grams and 271 grams. This year’s Fold may weigh less than 250 grams.

Lastly, the new hinge will put less strain on the screen when the device is folded as compared to the U-shaped hinge on previous models. This will reduce the crease that forms on the display over time. Since the waterdrop hinge will fundamentally change how the screen folds, Samsung is reportedly required to redesign the digitizer panel for foldables. Digitizer is a flexible circuit board (FPCB) that reads the S pen input. More details about the 2023 Galaxy foldables should surface in the coming months. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 will debut in August or September.


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