Samsung’s Z Fold 4 passes durability tests, but how will it hold up long term?

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the latest in the line of Samsung’s foldables to endure JerryRigEverything’s torture test that subjects devices to razor blades, lighters, and handfuls of dirt. Like the Fold 3 and Fold 2 before it, the Fold 4 managed to survive the test, albeit with quite a few scratches and some burnt-up pixels.

But the real question is whether the Fold 4 can pass the test of time. Samsung has taken significant steps toward improving the durability of its lines of foldables, making them water resistant, as well as adding stronger screens with a more rigid aluminum frame. And while the company has released videos — both this year and the last — designed to inspire confidence about the durability of its devices, they still don’t indicate how well they’ll fare with years of use.

Users reported experiencing several issues, including cracked screens and noticeable creases, shortly after purchasing new Galaxy Z Flip 3 or Fold 3 devices last year. But even if users didn’t have issues upon purchasing the foldable last year, for some owners, they’re starting to crop up now. Zoe Kleinman, a technology editor at the BBC, posted on Twitter that her Galaxy Z Flip 3 has developed a crack where the device creases, making both the bottom and top half of the device unusable. Several users on Reddit have also been put in similar situations months out from their purchase.

The release of the first Galaxy Z Fold in 2019 was notably delayed due to a faulty screen, and Samsung has obviously come a long way since then. While Samsung advertises its Z Fold 4 as “unbelievable tech built to last,” it describes its Z Flip 4 as having “serious durability [that] lets you flex and flip to your heart’s content” and lasts you 200,000 folds. While that may be true in lab conditions, everyday wear and tear over an extended period of time can be harder to predict.

Thankfully, Samsung has lowered the cost to repair the screens on a Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 to $29 — but only if you’re subscribed to Samsung’s Care Plus service, which costs $8 to $11 / month, depending on the device you’ve purchased. Without the plan (and if you’re not covered under warranty), you could wind up paying $499 to replace the Z Fold 4’s inner screen or $357 to repair it. The Z Flip 4 is slightly less expensive, costing $349 for an inner screen replacement and $219 for a repair. First and second-gen Flip and Fold devices (assuming you still have one that hasn’t needed a replacement yet) are eligible for cheaper one-time screen replacements that start at $119, however.

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