If you are in the market for a new smartphone, you have another option these days: new folding phones.
Remember those flip phones from the '90s and early 2000s?
Samsung is now out with foldable and "flip" style phones that combine nostalgia with some impressive new technology.
But these devices aren't without a few kinks, with some users reporting issues in online forums nationwide.
Elizabeth Noble is among them.
She has always been a big Samsung fan and loves the foldability of her Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4.
But just a month after she got one last fall, she said, "I went to open the phone, and it got to here (halfway open). And then it wouldn't go any further."
Her cell provider sent her a free replacement.
"But on December 11, my phone broke again," she said. So she got a third phone, again under warranty.
A few weeks later, she said the hinge started sticking again.
"It gets stuck, right there," she said.
The phone would only open halfway. Noble feared that if she pushed it, she would break the phone.
Samsung calls this "exceedingly rare"
"Experiences like Ms. Noble's are exceedingly rare," Samsung said, adding the phone is tested to be opened 200,000 times.
"The Galaxy Z Flip4 is engineered to be our most durable foldable ever, with a scratch-defying Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ screen covering a hinge caged in lightweight Armor Aluminum, the strongest in the mobile industry," Samsung said.
"Galaxy Z series devices undergo rigorous folding tests to outlast 200,000 folds-or around five years of use if folded and unfolded 100 times a day," Samsung added. "These folding tests reflect actual user patterns in real-world scenarios. Experiences like Ms. Noble’s are exceedingly rare and we remain available to address any additional concerns she may have. We encourage any customer with a question about their device to contact us directly at 1-800-Samsung for immediate assistance."
Reviewer called the devices great, with a few downsides
So what do the reviewers say? C. Scott Brown with Android Authority has spent quality time with several of Samsung's new foldable devices.
He said they are great phones for selfies as they stand up on their own.
"You can put it on a table or a bench," he said, which is great for YouTubers and TikTok users.
But he says they have found a few downsides. For example, Brown says the design makes the phone more susceptible to dust.
"It creates this tiny little gap near the hinge where dust and particles can get in there," he said.
Another Samsung foldable device, the Galaxy Fold, was criticized early on for its crease — but Brown says it’s becoming less noticeable.
"Most people who are just really impressed by the technology overall, though, probably won't care," he said.
At the end of the day, Brown gives Samsung credit for overcoming monumental engineering challenges to create folding smartphones.
Noble is now on her fourth phone -- all replaced under warranty. She loves it but suggests buyers handle it more carefully than standard flat smartphones, so you don't waste your money.
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