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Galaxy Fold screens have a meltdown: If you buy one, you can do the following

Something is wrong with some of the Galaxy Fold test units. On Wednesday, four reviewers of Samsung's foldable phone apparently published photos of their bulging, "broken", "useless" folds within a few minutes, one of which knows part of the screen and the other half

Wednesday morning tweeted Bloomberg's Mark Gurman on his review sample: "The screen of my Galaxy Fold tester is completely broken and unusable in two days ̵

1; difficult to know if this is the case or not."

And CNBC's Todd Haselton experienced a screen flicker on the left side of his review sample. YouTube Reviewer Marques Brownlee (MKBHD ) and Dieter Bohn of The Verge also had problems, and Bohn's screen was curved beneath the surface.

Samsung is aware of the problem. "A limited amount of early Galaxy Fold patterns have been made available to the media for review, and we've received some reports on the main display of samples provided, and we'll be thoroughly investigating those devices to determine the cause of the matter," the company said said in a statement on Wednesday.

These reports of a faulty Galaxy Fold are a nightmare for Samsung, the first major brand to sell a foldable phone. The Fold, which has a 4.6-inch screen on the outside, a bendable 7.3-inch screen and a price tag of nearly $ 1,980, poses a huge risk to the tech giants.

Intense criticism at the beginning could harm the future and shake consumer confidence in the concept of foldable phones in general. The Galaxy Fold's ability to lead the up-and-coming category could come under fire as buyers turn their backs on innovative design or opt for a rival model like Huawei Mate X TCL's upcoming designs or an alleged foldable one Phone like the Motorola Razr .

CNET's test device is preserved, and there could be a specific reason for it. Two of the reviewers (Gurman and Brownlee) experienced their problems as they removed a thin plastic film running along the screen of the Galaxy Fold.

This layer is conspicuous and not immediately obvious as to whether it belongs to the telephone or if it belongs to an additional film normally seen on devices to keep screens free of stains and lint during transport and storage.

I had received my review unit on Monday morning, then taken an unboxing video and worried that I was worried had forgotten to remove this plastic layer – what would the YouTube viewers say?! It turns out that this is like a gauzy plastic sheet that covers the foldable phone's 7.3-inch display, a protective layer that helps prevent the phone from being damaged.

You can see the edges of this layer here


If you look closely, you will see a thin line hugging the screen just behind the bezel. This is the protective layer that Samsung wants to keep firmly in place.

Angela Lang / CNET

But it's not the whole story, because two other reviewers, Haselton and Bohn, said they had not removed the film and still had problems rendering the fold unusable. So what's up?

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What about the screen of the Galaxy Fold?

The Galaxy Fold has a completely different screen setting than any other phone. On the outside is a 4.6-inch display covered with Gorilla Glass. This is the same as other Galaxy phones like the S10 and the S10 Plus ($ 961 on Amazon) . Inside, however, the screen is made of a plastic (polymer) material called Samsung's Infinity Flex Display.

Samsung has developed this process with a new process and special adhesives to withstand bending and bending of the screen without breaking. The screen protective layer should stay in place to avoid damaging the screen below – this is what actually makes your "screen" shine. Without the hardness of the glass to cover the delicate display, the fold is more vulnerable, something that becomes apparent.

Is there anything else on the test phones?

Yes. Reviewers received early production models. This means that these are not the final test units and that they may be vulnerable to certain issues that Samsung might be able to fix before the fold reaches the buyers' hands.

For example, I was told that my review sample is not unlocked European version that does not support US services like Bixby Voice, Samsung Health and Samsung Pay. Also, I was warned that call quality might be compromised because the phone is not optimized for US bands.

While fully testing this Galaxy Fold reviewer, I am suppressing a rating until I get the final production model CNET ordered.

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Samsung said that you should not remove the movie?

It is not clear if Samsung has thoroughly informed any reviewer who has received a phone over the screen protection layer. There was no instruction in my box – actually no literature – but no other indication, such as a pull-tab, that you should remove it.

I almost did it anyway. As a reviewer I like to experience the phone as "clean" as possible. That is, everything that I can peel off will go away. I emailed Samsung for more information about this shift on Tuesday. A spokesman replied, "Galaxy Fold is made with a special protective layer, it's not a screen protector – do not try to remove it."

The Company Further Explained Its Position:

"Some critics have reported removing the tip The Galaxy Fold's display has an upper one Protective layer that is part of the display structure to protect the screen from accidental scratches Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display We can ensure that this information is clearly passed on to our customers. "

Desmond Smith, Director of Creative Content and Tech Evangelist at T-Mobile, tweeted that the final production models of the freight forwarder will do this comes with a warning on the packaging that goes over the screen of the Galaxy Fold:

But the peeling off Screen coating is not the only problem.

Although removing the plastic film was a problem for some, e s not quite clear what the protective film works or how its distance is related to the behavior of the screen. Remember that two of the reviewers left the protector turned on. Bohn suspects that a piece of debris might have accumulated under the screen to cause the camber he felt, and a slight distortion on the surface of the crease.

Meanwhile, Haselton watched a persistent screen flicker over the left half of the screen. We know that two batteries, one on each side, work together to form a single power source. I am not an electrical or chemical engineer, but I wonder if this might indicate a battery problem. Hopefully we will all find out one way or the other.

In any case, the risky design of the Galaxy Fold has created some inconsistencies that its production early phones could damage and his reputation.

Why are flexible umbrellas made of plastic?

At the moment, glass does not bend so well. That's what Corning – the manufacturer of Gorilla Glass, which covers most high-end cell phones – is working on . However, do not expect bending glass to store second generation foldable phones. It will not be ready for some time.

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If I ordered the Galaxy Fold, should I cancel it?

If you are really interested in owning the Galaxy Fold, I recommend the wait-and-see approach. We do not know how widespread the problem is and whether it is a faulty stack or the entire setup. I'm not saying, do not worry, but let's see what's going on. My own review unit did not experience any anomalies of the screen at this time, but I keep an eye on all the issues.

The reported issues make the affected Galaxy Fold unusable, but so far the reviewers have not hinted at anything really dangerous, contrary to reports of some batteries in the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 it was found to be overheating and sometimes catches fire.

Samsung does not want another PR disaster on its hands. I am confident that a defective Galaxy Fold will be fully refunded if it happened to you. Nevertheless, we will hopefully get a more concrete explanation before the Galaxy Fold officially goes on sale on April 26th.

What is Samsung doing to fix it?

Samsung is aware of the issues and works with the reviewers to replace defective devices together to investigate what went wrong (see the above statements). In addition, we asked Samsung what happened in his opinion, whether buyers can be sure that their wrinkles will not break when Samsung provides a device refund, when customers cancel their order, and when it is clear what Future owners of Fold should and should not do to protect their phones.

We will update this story when we hear it again. In the meantime, it continues with CNET's Galaxy Fold .

Originally published on April 17, 19:55. PT.
Updates, 8:24 PM: adds Samsung's statement; April 18 at 6 pm PT : adds more details.

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