When new flagship phones come out, CNET doesn’t shy away from testing the durability claims made by manufacturers. We’ve done. We’ve done . When the new foldable phones started coming on the market from Motorola and Samsung, we even did .
Even before the latest Samsung foldables were announced, I’d been trying to figure out a new kind of experiment to gauge the resilience of these phones. Could we test the strength of the hinges with weights? Maybe use it as a shovel at the beach to see if any sand got inside?
With the introduction of theand its accompanying S Pen Fold Edition, I decided we should look at the durability of the screen itself. I was curious to find out how much one could draw on the screen with the S Pen before any ill effects could be noticed.
I knew randomly drawing on the screen for an extended period of time was no way to conduct the experiment, so I turned to my 3D printer, which I knew was capable of generating consistent repetitive motions. I modified my Creality Ender 3 V2 printer to make it a plotter instead and printed out a holder to make it work with the S Pen.
Then, with a little help from the internet, I had to teach myself how to program a little bit of gcode so I could make the plotter do what I needed it to. The key ended up being this little string right here: G2 F5277 I50 J0. With some trial and error, I figured out this bit of code would draw a circle with a radius of 50mm 1,000 times in one hour. Copy and paste 1,000 times in Notepad and voila!
Finally, once I got the Z Fold 3 in hand, I had to find a good drawing program that would be interesting to watch for 16 hours. I landed on Infinite Painter because of its clean interface and huge supply of interesting brushes.
So, now the time has come for me to see what happens when I put all these pieces together and run my experiment. You’ll note that I keep calling it an experiment, and not a test, because there’s nothing really scientific about what I’m doing. Samsung hasn’t made any claims about how much you can draw on the screen of the Z Fold 3 with the S Pen, so I’m not really testing anything. I’m just presenting a demonstration of what might happen if someone, for some reason, chose to draw circles on the Fold 3 for the equivalent of a 5K race.
Hopefully, it will also provide some zen to your day, having this experiment just running along in the background.
So tune in on Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT to see me kick things off and keep coming back until the wee hours of Thursday morning as I approach my goal of 16,000 circles, or just over 5,000 meters of drawing.
And if you’re curious, here’s some of the math behind my madness:
- Radius of circle being drawn: 50 mm
- Circumference of circle: 314.16 mm
- The machine draws 1000 circles in 1 hour
- 1000 circles x 314.16 mm = 314160 mm/hr = 314.16 meters per hour
- 5 km would take 15.9 or basically 16 Hours
- 314.16 meters per hour = 1030.7 feet per hour
- 1 mile = 5.12 hours
- 3 miles would take 15.36 hours
- 5 km = 3.1 miles