With the advent of folding phones, there are definitely questions being asked of their longevity and exactly how long you could use them until the screen inevitably gives in. Something which CNET was interested in as they put Motorola’s new Razr folding phone to the test to see how many times it could be folded before the hinge and screen inevitably breaks.
In the test, Razr put the device in what they call a Foldbot machine that opens and closes the device repeatedly. The test found that the hinge would eventually give away after 27 000 folds, though the screen inevitably did still work. 27 000 might seem like a big number that offers a sense of longevity, but if you consider that the average person will probably unfold their device about 100 times a day and then you realise it would probably only last about 270 days before giving in, something which is not ideal given the amount of money you would spend on it.
It’s worth noting though that the test itself is not perfect as the excessive forces placed on the hinge device in a short time is not a replication of how it would behave in everyday use, which would likely be able to therefor handle a significantly larger number of folds. The folding device itself wasn’t properly calibrated for the device, something which Motorola also made a statement on following the publication of the test results itself:
SquareTrade’s FoldBot is simply not designed to test our device. Therefore, any tests run utilizing this machine will put undue stress on the hinge and not allow the phone to open and close as intended, making the test inaccurate. The important thing to remember is that razr underwent extensive cycle endurance testing during product development, and CNET’s test is not indicative of what consumers will experience when using razr in the real-world. We have every confidence in the durability of razr.
Motorola subsequently provided a video of their own device used for flip testing which they say shows that the device should be able to work for years:
Their test itself is probably not a perfect replication either and CNET’s test reveals some problems, though the device could probably handle a significantly larger number of folds than their test says, though it’s inevitable that at some point the hinge will give in. When that point comes though I guess is what history will tell us and prove whether this device is looked back on as a great innovation or a wasteful expense.
Last Updated: February 10, 2020