Samsung may eliminate this major foldable flaw with Galaxy Z Flip 6, Fold 6

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 resting on a bench with a pond and a Korean pagoda behind it
(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

Foldable smartphones are incredibly cool, but they cost a pretty penny — and when you're spending that much on a phone, you expect it to last a while. While durability is leaps and bounds better than the first-generation Galaxy Fold, it remains a serious concern for foldable users. Samsung cracked (oops, maybe a poor choice of words) water resistance starting with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but dust resistance has continued to elude it. 

Currently, the only foldable phones in North America that offers any dust resistance are Motorola's new Razr phones. But mixed into a huge leak by Evan Blass on X (via Android Central) is one small, yet crucial detail: Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 phones might be joining the dust-resistant ranks.

If this leaked dust resistance for Samsung's new foldables is true, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be the first foldable smartphones to be both water- and dust-resistant.

According to the press materials Blass leaked — which basically reveal everything about the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Fold 6 — both foldables will gain an IP48 rating, up from their previous IPX8 rating.

This first number in the Ingress Protection (IP) rating, 4, indicates that the phones are protected against solid objects greater than 1mm. While this will certainly keep out larger specks of dust and dirt (and it's better than no dust resistance at all), it won't completely protect the phone from dust, like a max rating of 6. 

The second number in the IP rating, 8, refers to liquid resistance and won't change between generations. With this rating, the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6 will both be "water-resistant in fresh water to a maximum depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes," according to the allegedly leaked Samsung materials.

This new IP rating for Samsung's upcoming foldables will hopefully translate to greater long-term durability, and help justify their high price tags.

Is dust really that bad for foldable phones?

In short, yes.

According to Samsung, "Exposure to small particles, such as sand, may cause damage to the device, such as scratches or dents on the screen." Sand particles can generally range between 0.5 and 2.0 millimeters, and although dust particles can be much smaller, they can still cause similar damage.

Dust particles can also simply get trapped on the inner screen, something Redditor @PaulVander experienced with their Galaxy Fold. Seeing dust trapped in the screen of your expensive phone can not only be irksome, but it could translate to a cracked or damaged screen in the future.

galaxy z fold

(Image credit: @PaulVander on Reddit)

Dust can be a major issue for a foldable's hinge as well, causing it to not lay flat or function properly. Per Android Central's Brady Snyder, the Google Pixel Fold unfolded completely flat when he first used it, but after about a year and "a few pieces of dust," it no longer opens up completely.

Reddit user @RazerRamon33td said they were once trying to remove a staple that fell in their Galaxy Z Fold 2's hinge when "the whole staple disappeared inside the hinge." Without dust protection, it's wild to think of how much dust could sneak inside Samsung's foldable hinges.

We'll hear more about Samsung's two upcoming foldables at the Galaxy Unpacked Summer event on July 10, and hopefully the company will dive into more on how this dust-resistance rating will improve durability of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6.