Google might mandate quality standards for upcoming foldables

Google Foldable Standards
Honor X9b Ad
Honor X9b Ad

When it comes to durability of a foldable,  we have to rely on informal assurances from manufacturers and third-party fold tests. For example, a recent test showed that the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, despite being rated for 400,000 cycles, only survived 126,266 folds. Thus, Google is reportedly considering introducing new quality standards for foldable smartphones to address concerns about their longevity and durability to replace false assurance.

Google’s approach to addressing informal guarantees

Longevity of Foldables

According to information shared by Mishaal Rahman on his Patreon account (available through payment), Google is considering a plan to ensure that upcoming foldable devices have a long lifespan. The idea is that these devices should be able to handle at least 200,000 folds and unfolds. This would translate to roughly five years of use if someone opens their phone 100 times a day. For those who are more careful and only open it 50 times a day, the device might last up to ten years.

Hinge Durability

Furthermore, Google might require devices with a “torque hinge” to keep at least 80% of their initial strength after 200,000 uses. This move comes in response to issues highlighted in recent tests, such as the Galaxy Z Flip 5 losing its ability to hold half-closed angles after 223,000 folds. In simpler terms, Google wants free-stop hinges to stay strong and not become loose over time.

Google’s Software Support Standards for Foldable

Google might also mandate that original equipment manufacturers provide a minimum of two major OS updates and three years of security patches for foldable devices, aligning with the current industry trend of extended software support. This matches what other companies like Google, Samsung, and Oppo already do, where they provide updates for up to five years.

Enhancing Reliability and Support for Foldable

Given the high cost of these phones, experiencing a device breakdown or being left without support from the manufacturer would be undesirable. While Google hasn’t confirmed these changes yet, they are a step towards enhancing the reliability and performance of foldable smartphones. So, even though these guidelines aren’t very surprising, it’s still nice that Google is making sure of them.

  • Meanwhile, check out our review on Galaxy Z Fold 3.