Galaxy Fold display screen meltdown: What to do in case you purchased one from Samsung, AT&T or T-Cellular


One thing may be very incorrect with among the Galaxy Fold evaluation models. On Wednesday, and seemingly inside minutes of each other, 4 reviewers of Samsung’s foldable cellphone posted photographs of their bulging, “damaged”, “unusable” Folds, one with a portion of the display screen white and the opposite half blacked out.

Samsung is conscious of the difficulty. “A restricted variety of early Galaxy Fold samples have been supplied to media for evaluation. We have now obtained a number of stories relating to the principle show on the samples supplied. We’ll completely examine these models in individual to find out the reason for the matter,” the corporate mentioned in a press release on Wednesday.

CNET’s evaluation unit stays intact, however two reviewers skilled their issues once they eliminated a skinny plastic movie that runs alongside the Galaxy Fold’s display screen. On Wednesday morning, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman tweeted about his evaluation unit: “The display screen on my Galaxy Fold evaluation unit is totally damaged and unusable simply two days in. Arduous to know if that is widespread or not.”

YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) had the same expertise. This layer is noticeable, and is not instantly apparent if it belongs to the cellphone or if it is an additional movie of the type you generally see on gadgets to maintain screens smudge- and lint-free throughout transport and storage.

However the protecting movie is not the one supply of early issues. CNBC’s Todd Haselton skilled display screen flickering on the left aspect of his evaluation machine.  The Verge’s Dieter Bohn additionally had points, with Bohn’s display screen forming a bulge beneath the floor.

These stories of a defective Galaxy Fold are a nightmare scenario for Samsung, the primary main model to promote a foldable cellphone. The Fold, which has a 4.6-inch display screen on the skin, a bendable 7.3-inch display screen on the within and an almost $1,980 price ticket, is a serious danger for the tech big.

Intense criticism on the outset might harm future gross sales, and shake client confidence within the idea of foldable telephones generally. The Galaxy Fold’s probability to guide the rising class might come underneath fireplace if consumers flip their backs on the modern design, or go for a rival mannequin like Huawei’s Mate X, TCL’s upcoming designs or a rumored foldable cellphone just like the Motorola Razr.

The Galaxy Fold goes on sale April 26 with AT&T, T-Cellular and choose Samsung expertise shops. It is also out there for preorder on-line. I’ve reached out to T-Cellular and AT&T asking for a touch upon how they’re going to assist Galaxy Fold consumers if one thing goes incorrect. 

T-Cellular replied: “We’re finalizing choices for our clients, please keep tuned.”

Let’s handle the movie layer first. I had obtained my evaluation unit on Monday morning, then shot an unboxing video, and frightened that I had forgotten to take off this plastic layer — what would the YouTube viewers say?! 

Seems, what seems like a paper-thin sheet of plastic overlaying the foldable cellphone’s 7.3-inch show is a protecting layer that is essential to serving to preserve the cellphone damage-free.

You’ll be able to see the perimeters of that layer right here, on my evaluation unit:


Look carefully and you’ll see a skinny line hugging the display screen simply past the bezel. That is the protecting layer that Samsung desires to stay firmly in place.

Angela Lang/CNET

However once more, the protecting layer is not the entire story, as a result of two different reviewers, Haselton and Bohn, mentioned that they did not take away the movie, and nonetheless had issues that rendered the Fold unusable. So what is going on on?

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Galaxy Fold is a foldable cellphone with a bendable display screen


What is the cope with the Galaxy Fold’s display screen?

The Galaxy Fold has a totally totally different display screen setup than some other cellphone. There is a 4.6-inch show on the skin that is coated with Gorilla Glass — that is the identical as different Galaxy telephones just like the S10 and S10 Plus ($961 at Amazon). However inside, the display screen is fabricated from a plastic (polymer) materials that Samsung calls its Infinity Flex Show.

Samsung created this with a brand new course of and particular adhesives to resist the display screen’s bending and flexing with out breaking. The display screen protector layer is supposed to stay in place to stop harm to the show under — that is the factor that truly makes your “display screen” mild up. With out the hardness of glass to cowl the fragile show, the Fold is extra weak, one thing that is develop into vividly obvious.

Is there one thing totally different concerning the evaluation telephones?

Sure. Reviewers obtained early manufacturing fashions. Which means these aren’t the ultimate evaluation models, and could possibly be susceptible to sure points that Samsung might need the chance to repair earlier than the Fold reaches consumers’ palms.

For instance, I used to be informed that my evaluation unit is an unlocked European model that does not assist US companies like Bixby Voice, Samsung Well being and Samsung Pay. Likewise, I used to be warned that decision high quality could be compromised as a result of the cellphone is not optimized to US bands.

Whereas I am absolutely testing this evaluation unit of the Galaxy Fold, I’m withholding a score till I obtain the ultimate manufacturing mannequin CNET ordered.

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Watch Samsung’s Galaxy Fold stress check


Did Samsung say you are not purported to take away the movie?

It is not clear if Samsung completely briefed each reviewer who obtained a cellphone concerning the display screen protector layer. There was no instruction in my field — no literature in any respect, the truth is — but additionally no different indication, like a pull tab, that you must take away it.

Nevertheless, I virtually did anyway. As a reviewer, I wish to expertise the cellphone as “clear” as potential. Which means every thing I can peel off goes to return off. I emailed Samsung for extra details about this layer on Tuesday. A spokesperson responded, “Galaxy Fold is manufactured with a particular protecting layer. It isn’t a display screen protector — don’t try to take away it.”

The corporate additional elaborated its place:

“A couple of reviewers reported having eliminated the highest layer of the show inflicting harm to the display screen. The primary show on the Galaxy Fold contains a prime protecting layer, which is a part of the show construction designed to guard the display screen from unintended scratches. Eradicating the protecting layer or including adhesives to the principle show might trigger harm. We’ll guarantee this info is clearly delivered to our clients.”

Desmond Smith, director of artistic content material and a tech evangelist at T-Cellular, tweeted that the provider’s closing manufacturing fashions will include a warning on the wrap that goes over the Galaxy Fold’s display screen:

However peeling off the display screen layer is not the one concern 

Whereas eradicating the plastic movie prompted an issue for some, it is not completely clear what the protecting movie does or how its removing pertains to the display screen’s habits. Keep in mind that two of the reviewers stored the protector on. Bohn suspects {that a} piece of particles might have develop into lodged underneath the display screen to create the bulge he felt, and a slight distortion on the Fold’s floor.

Haselton, in the meantime, noticed a persistent display screen flicker over the left half of the display screen. We all know that two batteries, one on both sides, work in live performance to type a single energy supply. I am not {an electrical} or chemical engineer, however I’m wondering if that might point out a battery concern. Hopefully we’ll all discover out a method or one other.

At any price, the Galaxy Fold’s dangerous design has created some inconsistencies that might harm its early manufacturing telephones and its repute.

Why are bendable screens fabricated from plastic within the first place?

Proper now, glass does not bend so effectively. That is one thing that Corning — the maker of Gorilla Glass, which covers most high-end telephones — is engaged on. Do not count on bendable glass to save lots of second-gen foldable telephones, although. It will not be prepared for a while.

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Watch this:

The bendable glass that’s shaping as much as cowl foldable…


If I ordered the Galaxy Fold, ought to I cancel it?

In case you’re genuinely eager about proudly owning the Galaxy Fold, I counsel the wait-and-see method. We do not know the way widespread the difficulty is, and if it impacts a foul batch or your entire lineup. I am not saying do not be involved, however let’s examine what develops. My very own evaluation unit hasn’t skilled display screen abnormalities at this level, however I am preserving an in depth eye on any points.

The reported issues make the affected Galaxy Fold unusable, however to this point reviewers have not indicated any really harmful habits, in contrast to stories after some batteries within the ill-fated Galaxy Be aware 7 have been discovered to overheat and typically catch fireplace.

Samsung will not need one other PR catastrophe on its palms. I am assured it could absolutely refund a damaged Galaxy Fold if it did occur to you. Regardless, we’ll hopefully get a extra concrete rationalization earlier than the Galaxy Fold formally goes on sale April 26.

What’s Samsung doing to repair the issue?

Samsung is effectively conscious of the problems, and is working with reviewers to switch damaged gadgets to research what went incorrect (see the statements above).

As well as, we have requested Samsung what it thinks occurred, if consumers can really feel assured that their Folds will not break, if Samsung will present a refund if individuals cancel their order, and if it would or not it’s clear what future Fold house owners ought to and should not do to guard their telephones.

We’ll replace this story if we hear again. Within the meantime, this is the way it’s going with CNET’s Galaxy Fold to this point.

Initially revealed April 17, 7:55 p.m. PT.
Updates, 8:24 p.m.: Provides Samsung’s assertion; April 18 at 6 a.m. PT and eight:32 a.m. PT: Provides extra element; 11:01 a.m. PT: Provides T-Cellular remark. Up to date 11:34 a.m. PT.


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