Google will soon require foldable phones to meet specific hardware quality standards, according to Android expert Mishaal Rahman on his Patreon account. Android OEMs will reportedly need to complete Google’s questionnaire and send sample devices to Google for closer scrutiny.
More Folds, Longer Lifespan
First, Google will require all foldable phones to be able to withstand at least 200,000 folds and unfolds. This requirement is in line with the number of folds Samsung claims for its Flip and Fold series. Meanwhile, some brands like OPPO claim that their foldable phones can be folded 400,000 times.
Rahman added that for devices with a “torque hinge,” at least 80 percent of the original torque needs to be maintained after 200,000 folds and unfolds. That means Google wants the free-hovering hinge to maintain its stiffness and not become loose over time.
It is noted that Google doesn’t appear to be mandating other hardware requirements, such as the use of ultra-thin glass.
Slightly longer software update commitment
Google will also require Android OEMs to provide two major versions of OS updates and three years of security patch updates for foldable devices. That’s not far off from Android’s general minimum requirements of two major version OS updates and two years of security patch updates. This is disappointing considering the high price of the foldable phone itself. But at least manufacturers like Google, Samsung, and OPPO are offering up to five years of security patch updates. So hopefully Google will revise the software update requirements for its foldable phones soon.