Dust is the enemy of a foldable phone, and Samsung says it’s working on measures to make its foldable phones much more resistant to dust.
Samsung’s mobile business president TM Roh discussed the pursuit of foldable dust resistance at a press conference following the company’s Unpacked event earlier this week, as reported by Korean media BizWatch and seen by android authority. Roh said, “We are well aware of consumer demand for dust protection and are making various efforts to achieve it.” He noted that Samsung added water resistance a few generations to its foldable lineup and asked fans of the Fold series to “wait a little longer” for that dust-resistance rating.
It’s a tough problem for phones with moving parts, but it’s a hurdle Samsung needs to overcome if it really wants to bring foldable devices into the mainstream. The company’s current foldable phones offer great water resistance, but they currently don’t provide any protection against dust. Slab-style flagships typically come with an IP68 rating, which means they’re certified to be both dust and water resistant to a certain degree; but Samsung’s foldables are only IPX8 rated – the 8 means you can fully submerge them in water, but the X is a big “no” for any kind of dust resistance. The moving parts of a flip phone make it a difficult problem to solve.
Samsung’s competitors seem to be working on it too: the Motorola Razr Plus comes with much less water resistance, but its IP52 rating means limited protection against dust. Samsung’s phones aren’t totally useless against dust – the hinges include brushes to help keep dust out – but for some reason the Flip and Fold doesn’t have an IP rating that reflects any level of dust resistance.
A dustproof foldable phone is an exciting prospect and could represent a big step towards the mainstream of foldable phones. Until then, our advice remains the same: don’t take your flip phone to the beach. The death of OLED is a terrible way for a phone to go.