You could buy a whole new phone with what it costs to fix a Samsung foldable

The Samsung Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are already expensive to begin with. Replacing the foldable displays is another hefty cost on top.

Hands on with Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable Android smartphones 2021
Evan Rodgers / Input

With how expensive phones are these days, you can expect to shell out a few hundred bucks to replace a screen. If you’re in warranty or covered by a company’s device protection plan, then you can be as reckless with your phone as you want. But if you’re not, you’re going to need to clutch your phone dearly and treat it like the piece of fragile glass it is.

That’ll be $400+ — The latest Samsung foldables, which are already expensive phones that start at $999, are no different when it comes to expensive repairs. If you’re thinking of getting one, Samsung’s Care Plus ($12.99/month) plan is necessary unless you’re okay with paying a little over the price of the new Google Pixel 5a with 5G to fix it. That’s right, to fix the foldable glass display on the big boi Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung says it’ll cost $479, according to The Verge.

The Z Flip 3 is not as pricey, but you’ll still pay $369 to replace the foldable screen if you break it. To put it in a perspective your brain can better understand, that’s still the price of a Nintendo Switch and a game.

The Z Fold 3 has a 7.6-inch internal AMOLED 2X display, and it’s not cheap to replace it. Evan Rodgers / Input

The Verge reports that replacing the external screen isn’t as eye-watering, costing $149 for the Z Fold 3 and just $99 for the Z Flip 3.

While these prices can be a big red flag if you’re looking into Samsung’s new foldables, the older foldables fared much worse. The Z Fold 2’s display was $549 to replace; it was $499 to replace the screen on the original Z Flip, according to Android Authority. Surely, repairs will come down in the future when the display tech becomes more common and manufacturing scales up. Until then, make sure you have the money for the phone and then money for a second phone in case you break the screen.

To be fair, non-foldable phones aren’t cheap to fix either. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max costs $329 to replace the screen out of warranty, and it costs $229 to replace the tiny screen on the cute iPhone 12 mini.

The Z Flip 3 doesn’t have a display as big as the Z Fold 3, though it still costs over $300 to replace 6.7-inch AMOLED 2X display.

Don’t DIY — I’m no stranger to saving a buck and have done repairs on several devices myself, such as when I stepped on my Chromebook and had to replace the screen. But foldables are the major leagues of DIY repair. Unless you’re a seasoned repairer, it’s best to stay in your lane and let the real pros handle it. The AMOLED displays can be easily damaged by exerting the wrong amount of pressure when installing, and worse than breaking your phone’s screen is also breaking the replacement screen.

Spending $300 on a repair stings no matter how much money you have so the best thing to do is sign up for Samsung’s device protection plans. Long-term, it’s an added cost on top of the already expensive cost of owning a foldable. Living on the bleeding edge is never cheap.