By: Nick Gambino
Thanks to techies having way too much time on their hands, a recent test involving a Motorola Razr and a specially designed folding robot shows the flip phone breaking after 27,000 folds.
The test was set up by Chris Parker at CNET and used the FoldBot that was used to test the Galaxy Fold last year. In that test, the Samsung phone stood up to a whopping 120,000 folds before it started exhibiting issues.
So, what does this mean? Well, if the test is accurate it means a lot of Razr owners are going to be pretty ticked off in about a year. CNET had a self-imposed goal of 100,000 folds, but with the test maxing out at 27,000 and with the theory that “the average American checks their phone 52 times a day,” that means major issues in 519 days. Nevermind that some studies show people checking their phone double that in a day.
Now, this does not mean that your Motorola Razr will go bust and stop folding properly after 6 months or 12 months or even 2 years. It’s important to take into account a few factors involved in the CNET test.
First, they bought the Razr themselves, which is fine, but they note that as soon as they started the test there was some trouble folding the phone all the way. This could mean that the phone itself was a dud and any smart consumer would have just returned it for a replacement. Though, it seems what’s actually at fault here is the FoldBot.
The FoldBot was repurposed from the Galaxy Fold test that they conducted in 2019 and was specifically designed by SquareTrade for the purposes of that test. Apparently SquareTrade did modify the FoldBot for the Razr test, but from all appearances if it was having trouble fully folding the phone closed from the get-go, the fault is probably with the design of the robot.
So, while this test is certainly interesting, it’s far from conclusive. I’d like to see someone perform the test again with a Razr we’re sure is working properly, and a robot designed specifically for the test. Or we could just pay someone to open and close the phone until it breaks. It might take a while, but it’ll be more accurate.