Despite the buzz surrounding the Galaxy Fold in 2019, the smartphone supposedly failed to meet its sales targets. While it presented several innovative features, the prohibitive price point marketed it as a luxury-tier gadget. Samsung quickly followed up with the Galaxy Z flip – a clamshell foldable – which apparently sold better. The manufacturer is rumoured to release a second-generation model in 2020 and the WIPO might just have revealed one of its key features. The Galaxy Fold 2 is reportedly more durable than its predecessor.
While most would assume the flexible screen will be now more scratch resistant, the upgrade actually has something to do with water resistance. It might not seem much, but it should be noted that the foldable configuration already presents a huge challenge for engineers. The original Fold was plagued by ingress issues as dust and other debris regularly made its way under the display. Tech pundits eventually attributed it to the hinge mechanism.
GSMArena shares a short segment from the purported Galaxy Fold 2 patent documents that read: Accordingly, an aspect of the disclosure is to provide an electronic device including a waterproof structure for protecting one or more parts disposed in the interior and on the exterior of the electronic device, by providing the waterproof structure of the electronic device that employs a hinge structure of a foldable electronic device."
What makes this fascinating is the fact that it's already a challenge to keep stuff out and away from sensitive components. The Galaxy Fold 2 might have some innovative workarounds on board to prevent water damage. An illustration supplied by Samsung also shows a new external display. Reports indicate that it will be mainly used for alerts and notifications unlike the one on the first model.
Overall, the form factor and design remain generally unchanged. However, it remains to be seen if Samsung finally found a solution to address the durability of its flexible display. Before the Galaxy Z Flip debuted in February, the company heavily promoted the Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) used by its flexible display. Unfortunately, durability tests show it can even get scratched by a fingernail. Hopefully, the Galaxy Fold 2 will ship with something more robust.