The biggest question when it comes to folding devices is long-term durability. If and when things do go wrong, Samsung’s customer support isn’t quite as “premium” as the company claims. But adding fuel to that fire are a few new reports claiming screens are cracking due to cold weather.
The latest pair of reports come directly from Samsung’s home market in South Korea. In both cases, cracks to the display aren’t actually visible, but the symptoms mean screen trouble, with both devices showing bright splotches, lines, and that characteristic creeping darkness that indicates physical damage. While it’s impossible to verify, in both cases, customers remarked about the cold and outdoor use being the cause — though our Korean isn’t up to the task, Google Translate seems to make the basic meaning clear.
While the original Galaxy fold didn’t have Samsung’s new ultra-thin glass, the Z Flip does, which ostensibly makes the display more durable.
A Galaxy Z Flip that broke due to “cold weather,” according to a Redditor.
A little over a month ago, another customer reported a similar issue with their Z Flip cracking in the cold. However, it’s worth pointing out that Sasha Segan at PC Mag froze his Z Flip for half an hour last year as part of his review and was unable to damage his device.
You may remember last winter when Input’s Raymont Wong ran into a similar issue with a Motorola Razr, which began delaminating around the area of the fold, possibly as a result of being transported in just-barely-sub-freezing “cold” temperatures. Another (since deleted) tweet around the same time showed a Galaxy Z Flip that cracked almost immediately after being unboxed — also potentially as a result of cold temperatures.
Logically, it isn’t too surprising that temperature would affect a folding display’s functionality. All those different layers and materials respond to temperature changes differently, and the cold tends to make things brittle. Last year, Motorola outright issued a statement that its Razr shouldn’t be stored at temperatures below -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
We should also note that this trickle of reports, while generally alarming and easy fodder for folding display durability doubts, doesn’t indicate a widespread issue. Still, I’d be upset if my Z Flip broke the next time I flip it open outside this winter.