Samsung’s ‘unbreakable’ flexible phone display won’t crack

Samsung Unbreakable Panel

The most important part of Samsung’s foldable phone is arguably its display since the screen will have to bend and twist without falling apart into little pieces. Nobody knew for sure how this would work, but thankfully the company itself has now stepped in to provide some insight.

Samsung’s “unbreakable flexible panel” just got certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and is now making its public debut. Instead of using glass, the OLED display uses a plastic substrate and an overlay window. It’s basically fortified plastic, with the brand claiming that it resembles glass thanks to its lightweight nature, hardness, and transmissive properties.

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As can be seen in the image above, the screen can be flexed without any broken parts. Samsung’s bendable phone allegedly flips all the way down, just like an old-school clamshell phone. That hasn’t been demonstrated yet, but we might see that in action once January rolls around and the CES 2019 kicks off with the device’s launch.

Samsung doesn’t plan to keep its innovative panel restricted to just its handsets. Other electronic products like mobile military devices, portable gaming consoles, displays consoles for cars, and tablet PCs for e-learning could also benefit.

As for its lab results, UL claims that Samsung’s screen passed heavy-duty military-grade durability tests. It survived the same 4 foot drop test 26 times in succession. It also made it through hot 71 degrees and cold -32 degrees temperature tests. It seemingly went through all these ordeals without a single sign of damage to its front, sides or edges.

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Samsung also tested the display from a height of 6 feet and says it passed the test with flying colors. Of course, it’s important to remember that real-world situations vary. Plus, no one has actually used this unbreakable panel on a phone yet, so it’s hard to say how well it’ll do or what the potential downsides are to having plastic in place of glass.