Several interntional publications and reviewers received their review units of the Galaxy Fold from Samsung earlier this week. While things were starting to look all sunshine and rainbows for Samsung’s latest endeavour, it’s come to a rather shocking revelation as several Galaxy Fold units around the world have been rendered useless after multiple reports of broken displays.
The news has quickly gone trending all around the internet after individual reports from Dieter Bohn from The Verge, Steve Kovach, Marques Brownlee and Mark Gunman highlighted that their Galaxy Fold didn’t survive even a week of use since it was made available.
Reports of the Galaxy Fold failing to hold up went mainstream when The Verge’s Dieter Bohn revealed that his Galaxy Fold started behaving weirdly after a random bulge was spotted on the display. The bulge appears to be present because of a piece of debris which might have gotten into the phone through the hinge and was successful in cutting through the display and thus ending up breaking it.
My review unit had that weird bump under the screen at the hinge. Whatever it was eventually broke the screen. The whole experience was unsettling. I was unsettled. I guess I felt
The rattle of the bulge
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) April 18, 2019
Popular tech YouTuber MKBHD also revealed that his Galaxy Fold’s display broke down as soon as he tried to remove a protective layer, which wasn’t supposed to be removed. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also ran into a similar issue where his Galaxy Fold failed after he attempted to remove the adhesive plastic which was present on the top of the unfolded screen.
PSA: There’s a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold’s display. It’s NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
A repair guide to the Galaxy Fold was leaked by Sammobile and it entailed that there’s a special changeable protective later on top of the main screen of the Galaxy Fold which has been installed to protect the display from scratches and other damage.
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
While it’s believed that the displays on the units sent to MKBHD and Gurman failed because of the removal of this plastic layer, Steve Kovach from CNBC shared a video of his review unit which was flickering after just a day of usage. The video instance shows the left half of the Galaxy Fold flashing white and black with the other half functioning as a display would normally.
After one day of use… pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
Of the four incidents that have been reported till yet, we now have three instances where the display of the Galaxy Fold failed for different reasons. It’s now assumed that the display on Marques’ and Gurman’s review units experienced issues due to the removal of the adhesive later on the top. However, the remaining two units sent to Bohn and Kovach experienced issues for different reasons. Bohn has debris stuck on the inside of the hinge while Kovach’s Fold suffered from flashing screen for no reason whatsoever. The last two cases are just hard to explain and we would have to wait for an official response from Samsung.
In case of the issue with the protective screen, MKBHD and Gurman both indicated that their review unit boxes didn’t include any warning sign from Samsung for not removing the layer from the display. This is certainly a letdown on Samsung’s part which seems to have added similar warnings to the actual retail boxes that have started shipping.
What did Samsung say?
Since the streak of display incidents, Samsung has released an official statement to address the issues on the Galaxy Fold. There were two parts of information that were revealed in the statement that has been shared by The Verge. Firstly, Samsung indicated that only a limited number of units were sent to reviewers and it acknowledged that it will inspect those units which were affected for unexplained reasons.
In the case of those units which failed due to the removal of the protective layer, Samsung said that the main display on the Golf features a “top protective layer” which is an integral part of the display and removing it will certainly cause damage to the screen.
While the company provided clarity to those who removed the layer can sure be accepted as an acknowledgement, the fact that Samsung didn’t have an answer for Kovach’s and Bohn’s defected screens shows that it itself isn’t aware of the issue that’s causing the display to go dead. So the thing left now is to wait for the findings of the test which Samsung will be conducting on the Fold devices
T-Mobile’s Content Director, Des followed the reports of the Fold’s breaking issues with a picture which looked a lot like a message from Samsung on the packaging of the retail unit of the device. The message reads “The main screen includes a special protective layer. Peeling off the protective layer using any adhesives on the main screen, such as screen protectors or stickers, may cause damage”.
Dear future #GalaxyFold owners, I know I always say “No one ever read the instructions”… PLEASE READ THIS ONE!!!
(This is the wrap over the screen of the Galaxy Fold) pic.twitter.com/LuQPRfDZIE
— Des (@askdes) April 17, 2019
In another instance, Washington Post’s Geoffrey A Fowler shared a video of him trying to fold and unfold the Galaxy Fold a hundred times in one go to check if the display broke to test longevity. The device surprisingly held pretty well to the abuse and has been claimed to work perfectly with no issues.
Lots of reports emerging about problems with the Samsung Galaxy Fold screen.
— Geoffrey A. Fowler (@geoffreyfowler) April 17, 2019
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold announcement was the company’s headline event in a long time and though they showcased something new it needs to be seen how consumers react to this development and will it have an impact on the sales.