Enough time has passed since the Galaxy Z Fold 2 debuted for foldable enthusiasts to be waiting for a direct sequel, but while recent leaks and rumors have been slowly chipping away at the mystery surrounding the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung has decided to take a look back at the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and share a new design story with its fans. It tells the story of how the Hideaway Hinge was conceived, and it explains why the foldable device has some common DNA with vacuum cleaners.
Besides developing the foldable display itself, one of the biggest difficulties faced by Samsung when designing its foldable devices was to make the hinge as impervious to foreign particles as possible. First, Samsung had to create a hinge that was small enough to fit inside the Galaxy Z Flip 2 without compromising the design, and after dozens of versions tested, the company has settled on the final Hideaway Hinge design that comprises more than 60 small components.
Next, the company had to come up with a way to protect all those intricate mechanisms from dust and other foreign particles, and the company found the answer in one of the most unexpected places: its vacuum cleaner lineup.
Vacuum cleaners and sweeper technology save the day
Samsung has revealed that it went through 98 different ideas of how to protect the intricate mechanical hinge of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, and none of these initial concepts worked. It must’ve been frustrating for Samsung to have this state-of-the-art display technology on its hands and yet be held back by a hinge mechanism, but thankfully the engineering team pulled through.
The team drew inspiration from the most unlikely place, namely the company’s household vacuum cleaners, and has developed the sweeper mechanism for the Hideaway Hinge. It’s made of fibers that are shorter than 1mm, and it meets three key requirements: it’s durable-enough to withstand 200,000 folds; it can maintain elasticity; and it’s small enough not to compromise the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s design.
This was an ingenious solution to a big problem, and indeed, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a lot more successful than the original model at keeping dust particles from infiltrating the device and breaking the foldable screen from the inside. But it is not perfect. There have been reports from a few Galaxy Z Fold 2 owners about the hinge getting stuck / clogged up, so it’s going to be interesting to see how Samsung will further evolve upon the hinge mechanism for the Galaxy Z Fold 3.