Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Teardown! – Where is the Glass?!

by birtanpublished on August 29, 2020

So Samsung ended up responding to the verge regarding my Galaxy Z Flip durability test video. And it's interesting what they said. They said, 'The Galaxy Z Flip features an infinity flex display with Samsung ultra thin glass. This first of a kind UTG technology is different from other Galaxy flagship devices. While the display does bend, it should be handled with care. Also, the Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the ultra thin glass, similar to the Galaxy Fold.' That last sentence there telling us there is protection on top explains exactly what

We saw during the durability test. That protective layer was the layer that was getting damaged, and the glass is, well, maybe underneath all that somewhere. I never back down from a good challenge. It's time to find some glass. Let's get started. With the bumpers off, I notice something that must have happened between the filming of my last video and filming this video while the phone was sitting on my desk. Strange

Cracks started appearing along that center line of the hinge. And they appear to be below the surface of this protective layer. My phone has obviously been through quite a bit of stress, but this is still pretty strange. Now, some protections are removable…you know, like a helmet, or sunglasses, or a screen protector. But peeling off this particular protection reveals that it's not meant to be removed or replaced. This Galaxy Z Flip screen protector thing protects the screen in the exact same way your skin protects your

Internal organs. Remove it and you'll probably die. Which is what we see happening here. Going full MKBHD on this Z Flip destroys the phone. Now, Samsung has offered a one time screen replacement for broken screens for $119. After that it will be $499. But it's nice of them to offer that first replacement so cheap. I'm not really sure how much we can call it a protective layer though when it's actually essential to the phone's survival. It's not really protecting the screen – it is the

Screen. So if the screen ever does get scratched at a level 2, with deeper grooves at a level 3, the damage is still very permanent. Let's go find that glass though. Looks like I accidentally ripped off the ribbon cable connecting this screen to the internals. I'll check out the guts here in a second. The body of the Z Flip is still super impressive though. We'll be taking apart that hinge to see the bristles Samsung advertised during their launch event.

Now according to Samsung, we should start seeing the glass layer right underneath this integral epidermis. And, ladies and gentlemen, I think this is it. Little shards of cracked glass are covering the OLED layer, right underneath that plastic protection. Shiny little slivers of glass are scraping away with my tweezers…almost like little slivers of fiberglass. And it glistens just like broken glass does. Not to mention my fingers are now full of it. Fair payback I guess. Well played. There is glass in here. It's just not the physics bending

Revolution we all kind of thought it would be. Now Samsung did say that the top protective layer was similar to what they had on their first Galaxy Fold, so we'll take a look real quick. It looks like both screens have the same hard copper layer glued behind the display. Probably for rigidity for the parts that aren't supposed to flex. Pulling off just the top transparent layer of the Fold reveals that indeed both phones have a similar top plastic protection. But underneath that layer the

Screens are constructed differently. We can see that the Fold has clean flexing plastic, while the Flip has thin cracked layers of glass. I imagine the glass layer does help keep the display a tad more rigid than if it didn't exist at all, but it's still not what your fingers are touching when you use the phone, and it's important to remember that the outer layer of the new Flip is still as soft as the original Galaxy Fold. Let's see if we can tear this thing open and find those dust resistant bristles inside

The hinge. I'll remove the black tape protecting the inner screen side of the hinge. This reveals a ton of screws but not a whole lot else at the moment. We'll flip the phone around and come in from the other side. The top piece of glass comes off easy enough. This got crushed during the bend test, which the Galaxy Z Flip performed very well in actually. I'll disconnect the front screen ribbon like a little Lego. Remember, this is the tiny little display…the viewfinder thing we can see when the phone is closed. Kind of fun. I'll bust out my heat

Gun for the bottom section of glass since it's still glued into place. The heat helps soften the adhesive and I can pull the glass away from the phone body with my suction cup and pry tool. Setting that off to the side, we get our first look at the wireless charging pad in the bottom half of the phone. There is one screw holding down the black plastic bracket over top of the ribbon cable. Once that's unplugged I can set the wireless charger off to the side

And I can start on the plastics. The bottom black plastics have 5 screws. Then that loud speaker can come away from the phone body. You can see the white water damage indicator next to the gold contact pads, which let the speaker communicate with the motherboard. The top plastics have their own 6 screws, and then an additional 2 screws at the bottom of the large rectangular plate. And I'll be honest, this thing actually looks super awesome inside. Thumbs up for that. A transparent skin on this phone would look incredible.

Let me know in the comments if I should bring the clear skin back again with dbrand. I'll use my plastic pry tool to unplug the top battery, you know, since we would hate to damage the phone or anything. I'll unclip the extension ribbons like little Legos. And then the side volume ribbon over here on the left. The top motherboard has one screw holding it into the phone. And interestingly enough, there are several small magnets along the top that I assume help keep the phone shut when it's in the closed position.

I'll take out the removable SIM card tray, unplug the front facing camera, and then the Z Flip motherboard can pull away from the frame of the phone. This thing also looks pretty phenomenal. It's got a sheen covering the entire board like a rainbow. Gotta love that. I'll flip the board around and unplug the two main rear cameras. We have the 12 megapixel ultra wide camera on the left with no optical image stabilization. And the main 12 megapixel camera on the right with optical image stabilization. The front facing camera

Seems to be glued into place, or could possibly be that I bent the phone too much during the bend test and now it's not going to come out easy. Either way, it does come out in pieces. We can see the colorful sensor on the back here, which catches the light and transmits the image to your phone. And then we have the lens portion which brings the light into the sensor. Pretty cool. We have the rectangular earpiece speaker, the circular vibration motor, and the little

Circular contact pads for the volume rocker. Along with another little white water damage indicator next to the SIM card tray opening. Samsung has included two batteries inside the Z Flip. The phone feels very well balanced when the whole thing is assembled. This top battery comes out relatively easy and is a 930 milliamp hour capacity. Down here at the bottom of the phone I can pop off the long extension ribbon cables, along with one screen ribbon that's attached to the charging port board. This is the same

One that I ripped on accident when we were looking for glass on the screen. I'll just set it over here. The bottom of the phone also has a series of magnets along the edge of the frame to keep things closed. The charging port board can pop out of the frame, still attached to the extension ribbon of course. This little guy has the bottom microphone built in and the USB-C charging port. It looks like these long black extension wires run through and are built into the hinge mechanism. So it should be interesting to take a look

At when I pull all of that off. But first, the battery. This one is glued much more securely into the frame. And once again, Samsung went a bit overkill on the glue. But it does eventually come out. This one is a much larger 2370 milliamp hour, for a total of 3300 when we add both batteries together. Now that everything is successfully removed from the phone, let's see what this new hinge design has to offer us. Remember, Samsung redesigned this thing with bristles

Inside to help keep out the dust…since dust is a folding phone's worst nightmare. I'll start with the 4 black screws here in the center. Once those are out I can remove both the top and bottom center trays. This shows 4 large spring looking things. But not a whole lot else. We got to go deeper. Samsung says this hinge is inspired by a lotus blossom. And the hideaway hinge allows the phone to be propped open at any angle…kind of like a laptop. I'll remove the 8 screws holding the bottom half of the frame to the hinge,

Then I can carefully separate the two halves by pulling the ribbon cables through the bottom opening in the frame. Might as well go all the way at this point. I'll take off the remaining 8 screws holding the hinge to the top half of the frame. And after removing the rubber stopper from the hinge opening, I can pull the extension ribbons through the top half of the frame and our Galaxy Z Flip hinge is free. It looks kind of cool actually. The amount of engineering inside this thing is insane. It is still attached to the metal

Samsung logo spine piece, but I can separate that easy enough by breaking loose the center black brackets on both sides, which then frees up the ribbon cable and exposes the final two screws to disassemble the Z Flip hinge. And here we are. Up till this point I haven't seen a single bristle inside this hinge which, you know, would help keep dust out. And if you remember from Samsung's announcement, it looked like the bristles were all over the place in here. Wait…no….this is hilarious. I found them.

They aren't all along the inside of the hinge, they're just over here scrunched over on the edge at the little end caps. Which I guess is still pretty effective. Their marketing just, you know, made it seem like things would be a little different. But that just seems to be the theme in general with the Z Flip. The actual geared mechanism is here. A marvel of the mobile era. Straight up steampunk inside the phone. The Galaxy Z Flip quite possibly is the coolest phone of this year. And definitely the most

Durable folding phone I've ever tested. All that being said, Samsung is the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world. And the hype for this phone was particularly extreme. Not very well worded. I think Samsung needs to tighten up their marketing a bit. It's pretty safe to say that the whole world thought this phone was going to have a glass display, you know, since they literally said on their website “Meet the first ever folding glass screen on a Galaxy. Yeah, we said folding glass. Made of Samsung Ultra Thin Glass, it

Sets you up for an epic view with a smooth, flat screen.” Combine that with the bending physics comment, it's a little excessive for what we actually got, you know? And then the bristle thing. I feel like we kind of got catfished on Tinder. This phone is still a 10 out of 10 of course, but it was claiming to be a 15, and because of that, now I feel like it's a 6. If they would have come out and said something like, 'We have created a brand new revolutionary Ultra Thin Glass substrate, that can flex and fold on the new

Galaxy Z Flip. This optically clear glass core technology will take flexible screens to the next level.' I think, you know, phrasing it like that would more accurately portray what's going on, while still hyping everyone up for something new. The Galaxy Z Flip isn't actually bending any laws of physics and that's okay. It's still a 10 out of 10 and I'd still swipe right. Let me know what you think down in the comments. Should Samsung have been more realistic about the whole folding glass thing? Come hang out

With me on Instagram and Twitter. And thanks a ton for watching. I'll see you around.

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