Samsung Galaxy Fold, the company’s first foldable phone, will be made available to the mass on 26th April in the US. Based on recent reviews by early adopters and tech reviewers, it seems that it has a problem with its foldable screen.
On Twitter, I saw pictures of the Galaxy Fold’s screen dying and news of the screen issues began to pop up on tech review sites. See below on some of the tweets on it.
Based on the information, it seems that the problem is isolated to a couple of units and broadly speaking, is due to two failure scenarios.
The first scenario is simple. A layer on the screen was taken out and the screen dies. The layer on top of the screen is NOT a screen protector and you are NOT supposed to take it out. It seems that some units have warning messages against peeling off the top layer but some do not have.
Next scenario is a genuine case of products failing and Samsung has promised to investigate. Here is an excerpt of their official statement on the cases.
A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.
Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.
With no change to the release date (26th April) of the Galaxy Fold, pray that it is confined to those media preview sets.
Occasionally, we do get issues with pre-production review units and they are usually contained. Based on Samsung’s case, it is their first foray in the foldable phone market and I guess people will be more forgiving (I hope but at a price point of USD1,980, it will not be easy)
What I think Samsung needs to do is that top layer. It looks too much like a screen protector. And also, Samsung needs to enhance its QC, especially on the foldable part. Foldable phones are a new area and inspection methods need to be enhanced to prevent failures of the folding.
Having said that, I am not just talking about Samsung. Huawei is targeting to release their HUAWEI Mate X, their first foldable phone, from the middle of this year. This is a good lesson for them too.
Hopefully, the 26th April release date is not an End Game for Samsung (pun intended – you get it? Marvel?)
If you need to understand what is happening, check out a very nice explanation of these screen failures on the Galaxy fold by Marques Brownlee or (MKBHD)