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


One thing may be very flawed with a few of the Galaxy Fold evaluate items. On Wednesday, and seemingly inside minutes of each other, 4 reviewers of Samsung’s foldable cellphone posted images 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 evaluate. We’ve got acquired just a few experiences concerning the principle show on the samples supplied. We are going to totally examine these items in individual to find out the reason for the matter,” the corporate stated in an announcement on Wednesday.

CNET’s evaluate 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 evaluate unit: “The display screen on my Galaxy Fold evaluate unit is totally damaged and unusable simply two days in. Laborious 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 units to maintain screens smudge- and lint-free throughout delivery 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 evaluate gadget.  The Verge’s Dieter Bohn additionally had points, with Bohn’s display screen forming a bulge beneath the floor.

These experiences 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 damage future gross sales, and shake shopper confidence within the idea of foldable telephones basically. The Galaxy Fold’s probability to steer the rising class might come below fireplace if patrons flip their backs on the progressive 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 within the US on April 26 with AT&T, T-Cell and choose Samsung Expertise shops. It is also out there for preorder on-line. I’ve reached out to T-Cell and AT&T asking for a touch upon how they will assist Galaxy Fold patrons if one thing goes flawed. 

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

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

Seems, what appears 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 hold the cellphone damage-free.

You possibly can see the perimeters of that layer right here, on my evaluate unit:


Look intently and you’ll see a skinny line hugging the display screen simply past the bezel. That is the protecting layer that Samsung needs 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, stated that they did not take away the movie, and nonetheless had issues that rendered the Fold unusable. So what is going on on?

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 manufactured 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 injury 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 turn out to be vividly obvious.

Now enjoying:
Watch this:

Galaxy Fold is a foldable cellphone with a bendable display screen


Is there one thing totally different in regards to the evaluate telephones?

Sure. Reviewers acquired early manufacturing fashions. Which means these aren’t the ultimate evaluate items, and may very well be vulnerable to sure points that Samsung may need the chance to repair earlier than the Fold reaches patrons’ fingers.

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

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

Now enjoying:
Watch this:

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 totally briefed each reviewer who acquired a cellphone in regards to the display screen protector layer. There was no instruction in my field — no literature in any respect, in reality — but additionally no different indication, like a pull tab, that you need to take away it.

Nonetheless, I nearly did anyway. As a reviewer, I prefer to expertise the cellphone as “clear” as doable. Which means every part I can peel off goes to come back 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’s not a display screen protector — don’t try and take away it.”

The corporate additional elaborated its place:

“A couple of reviewers reported having eliminated the highest layer of the show inflicting injury to the display screen. The primary show on the Galaxy Fold includes 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 injury. We are going to guarantee this data is clearly delivered to our prospects.”

Desmond Smith, director of artistic content material and a tech evangelist at T-Cell, 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 situation 

Whereas eradicating the plastic movie brought about 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 turn out to be lodged below 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 kind a single energy supply. I am not {an electrical} or chemical engineer, however I ponder if that would point out a battery situation. Hopefully we’ll all discover out a technique or one other.

At any fee, the Galaxy Fold’s dangerous design has created some inconsistencies that would injury its early manufacturing telephones and its status.

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

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

Now enjoying:
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 the event you’re genuinely focused on proudly owning the Galaxy Fold, I recommend the wait-and-see method. We do not understand how widespread the difficulty is, and if it impacts a foul batch or the whole lineup. I am not saying do not be involved, however let’s have a look at what develops. My very own evaluate unit hasn’t skilled display screen abnormalities at this level, however I am conserving a detailed eye on any points.

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

Samsung will not need one other PR catastrophe on its fingers. 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 clarification earlier than the Galaxy Fold formally goes on sale April 26.

What’s Samsung doing to repair the issue?

Samsung is properly conscious of the problems, and is working with reviewers to switch damaged units to research what went flawed (see the statements above).

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

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

Initially printed 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-Cell remark. Republished at 11:34 a.m. PT.


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