Photo Credit: iFixit
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has been put through a teardown by the DIY repair experts by iFixit, and it reveals that the hinge isn't as dust proof as one would've hoped. The phone is seen to have a hydrophobic nano-coating on the motherboard, two separate batteries on each side of the foldable display, and a spring-loaded hinge assembly. The fibre brushes, placed on each side of the hinge to block the dust, perform very poorly, and the display is prone to scratches just like the Galaxy Fold.
Before beginning the postmortem, folks at iFixit gave the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip a nice bath in fine purple dust. This was done to ascertain the new foldable device's dustproof capabilities, and the Galaxy Z Flip failed this test miserably. As soon as the phone was removed from the dust bag, it is a bit reluctant to open and close, and a visible creaking noise is also noticed. The dust particles were seen as soon as the device was cranked open from the back, and the inside hinge was also filled with purple dust. The fibre brushes meant to protect the phone, had very little dust collected inside them, making iFixit question their efficiency. Removing all the components was a rather easy task, as all the screws were identical, and a single Phillips driver took care of all of the dismantling. Some of the components were also found to be modular, and replacing those should be an easy affair, the company notes.
The motherboard, as mentioned, is seen to sport a psychedelic rainbow finish, which means it has a hydrophobic nano-coating. This won't protect the board if you take the phone for a swim, but it will help protect it from occasional splashes. The Galaxy Z Flip packs a double-stacked motherboard which helps manufacturers pack a lot of chips in a small area, but repairability becomes harder for experts. iFixit also easily manages to remove the two batteries, and the batteries add up to 12.74 Whr of total power. This is less than the Galaxy Fold (16.87 Whr), but more than the Motorola Razr (9.7 Whr). The repair expert notes that battery replacements are made unnecessarily difficult due to poorly-routed cables and the lack of stretch-release adhesive.
Once the top display of the Galaxy Z Flip is removed, it is discovered that the thin glass is covered with a sheet of plastic, and it notes that the device is scratch resistant just like the Galaxy Fold. The hinge is uncovered at last, and it seen to be coated in purple dust. This goes to show that the fibre brushes may help in preventing pocket link and other small particles from entering the hinge, but there's nothing one can do to prevent the fine dust particles from making the hinge their new home. iFixit gives the Galaxy Z Flip a poor repairability score of just two out of 10, because of the glued down glass panels, difficult battery replacements, and because the components involved in the folding process are likely to wear over time. You can watch the full teardown in the video below: