Samsung’s foldable smartphones have proven to be almost as reliable as conventional phones, contrary to the beliefs that say otherwise. However, there’s no guarantee that foldable phones from other brands would be as trustworthy. Google doesn’t want people purchasing expensive foldable phones powered by Android to be left with a bad taste in their mouths. That’s why it is working on making a few hardware requirements mandatory for foldable devices to maintain specific quality standards.
According to Mishaal Rahman, Google will require all the foldable phones powered by Android to last at least 200,000 folds/unfolds. This is the same number of folds/unfolds that Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 are guaranteed to last. Google will also require brands to offer at least two major Android OS upgrades and three years of security updates to foldable phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 are guaranteed to get four major OS upgrades and five years of security updates. That means Samsung’s foldable phones already exceed these requirements considerably.
That’s not all, though. Mishaal claims that Google will make phones with torque hinges mandatory to retain 80% of the original friction torque after 200,000 folds/unfolds, ensuring that hinges don’t start feeling loose over time. Samsung doesn’t say how much friction torque the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series devices retain after a certain number of folds/unfolds. However, we haven’t seen people complaining about it. So, we guess the hinges on these phones are good enough to meet this requirement as well.
While this initiative is a step in the right direction to maintain the quality of foldable phones running on Android, we hope that Google also works on making its apps work and look better on foldable smartphones. For starters, it could make Gmail run in a split-screen mode on the foldable screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 without having to rotate the phone in landscape mode. The company should also encourage developers to optimize apps for foldable phones and give higher priority to such apps on the Google Play Store.