While we’re probably pretty excited about the foldable display smartphones that are being announced left and right, you might want to hold off on buying one if you’re the cautious type. The material that is currently being used for the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X isn’t the best just yet, at least according to experts. In a couple of years though, we may see things getting better, particularly when “bendable glass” can already be used for these devices.
Glass is the ideal material if you want your phone to be strong and durable as well as nice to look at. And while it can indeed fold, it’s still not flexible enough to be used for the foldable display smartphones that we’re seeing now. OEMs are relying on plastic polymers to be able to do this, including the Infinity Flex Display from Samsung which they claim will be able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of opening and closing.
Corning is now working on a 0.1 millimeter ultra thin, bendable glass that can bend to a 5 millimeter radius. But there’s still the challenge of making sure it’s still tough and almost unbreakable. They are working on finding the combination of their Gorilla Glass with that of the Willow Glass since you need to still put transistors on the glass display and apparently, salt and transistors aren’t friends.
They believe that this kind of glass will eventually be ready once foldable smartphones become more popular and mainstream. They are looking at two years before the non-early adaptors will be clamoring for better foldable display devices than what will be released this year. So if you can wait that long, you might want to hold out for a foldable glass display.