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Samsung Display’s phone dunking robot might be my MWC 2024 highlight

The Samsung Display booth at MWC 2024 has a robot intent on smartphone destruction, as well as some impressive concepts and prototypes.

Close up of the Samsung Display robot with its arms raised in the air

We’re at MWC 2024 in Barcelona, checking out all the latest in the world of smartphones and smartphone tech. While much of the event is about the wonder and capabilities of generative AI, the Samsung Display booth has something a little different to offer. It has a robot that is all about dunking, folding, stabbing, and ultimately trying to ruin phones. I am a big fan.

The Extreme Robo Challenge is a hardcore durability test with an expressionless robot doing the dirty work. As you can probably assume, it fails, but it’s a lot of fun watching it try. First, it dunks a Z Flip 5 into a bucket, showing off how waterproof the displays are. Then, it’s the scratch test, with our robot friend rubbing sharp rocks into the screen with no visible damage. The impact test follows, with the robot taking a knife and metal ball bearings to the screen before it aggressively folds the device for a final show of the display’s strength. With the demo done, everyone claps for the robot, even though it’s ultimately failed to do what it so clearly desires: to destroy.

Despite this fun take on the classic durability test, it doesn’t prove anything we don’t already know. Samsung Display is renowned for its craftsmanship when it comes to foldable and flip phones, as its screens for other electronics, and the robot is just a fun gimmick that drives the point home. It’s also clear that the Extreme Robot Challenge isn’t intended to be the star attraction, despite my opinion, as inside the booth, you find some impressive feats of engineering the brand is responsible for.

There’s the S Flex and its three folding screens, which we’re hoping might evolve from the concept stage soon if the Samsung triple-foldable phone rumors hold any truth, the amusingly named Flex Liple, a light and simple flip phone alternative, and the Flex In and Out, a concept that folds both backward and forwards, among other innovative ideas showcasing the latest OLED Samsung Display tech.

Custom image of the Samsung Flex S concept with three screens

Outside of bending, folding, and rolling screens, the Samsung Display booth also shows off a prototype one-inch RGB OLEDoS display, utilizing the Hades 2 trailer as a vivid example to portray just how graphically impressive the fresh tech is. It’s examples like this that make it easy to understand why Samsung is second only to Apple in the smartphone market and why so many brands, including other smartphone manufacturers, turn to Samsung Display when they need high-quality screens for new products.

Samsung Display robot with various phones and durability tests surrounding it

There you have it, the highlights from our exciting trip to the Samsung Display booth and its phone-bending robot at MWC 2024. For more of our coverage from the event, see what we made of the TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate rollable concept and the Motorola adaptive display concept. Or, if you’re looking for something with a Samsung Display yourself, see our picks for the best Samsung phones.