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Home / Tips and Tricks / What the breaking screens of Galaxy Fold mean for the future of folding phones

What the breaking screens of Galaxy Fold mean for the future of folding phones



There was no doubt that Samsung's Galaxy Fold and are starting from 2019 and beyond, struggling with growing pains have dents on the foldable plastic shield and permanent wear on the seam or kink, though the phone bends in half. No one was prepared for a complete collapse of the test units before the April 26 date of the sale of the US Galaxy Fold, least of all reviewers like myself who were fortunate enough to get access early to see that fold in action.

In light of last week's reports of breaking Galaxy Fold screens, the conversation has turned to the general excitement of the world's first folding phone for finger-pointing and concern. Twitter, Reddit, and other social networks have exploded in the 19459003 Crazy Dialogue which blames everyone at Samsung for dropping the Galaxy Fold to reviewers, two of whom may have accelerated the collapse of their foldable review units by flaking it turns out that they should never replace each other.

The CNET Galaxy Fold test unit is undamaged.

The problems of Samsung underscore how risky and fragile the concept of a foldable phone really is. Foldable phones represent a new type of device designed to maximize screen size without increasing the overall size of the device. After using the handset in fully open tablet mode, just close it to carry it around and use a smaller outdoor screen to perform smaller tasks such as tracking your messages, map navigation, and answering or rejecting calls. Samsung certainly wanted to stay ahead of the pack and establish the reputation of being an innovator in the transition of the smartphone to the next big thing.

Now it's not even clear if Samsung will postpone its launch in some Countries to deal with the problems. Until Samsung and other brands can stabilize buyers' fears, the future of foldable phones is precariously on the scales.

The turmoil came after four early reviewers of Samsung's foldable mobile phones had posted photos of their plump, "broken", "unusable" photos. "Flickering" wrinkles that cause a stir on social media sites like Twitter and Reddit. You could even say that the Internet is freaking out .

Photos of damaged phones ranged from a completely blackened screen to a bubbled device and one with one part of the screen white and the other half darkened. This will leave the curious buyers and those who pre-ordered the phone waiting for answers: What went wrong when problems affect all foldable phones or just this early run and where buyers can turn when something happens to their Galaxy Fold.

If you think about breaking phone parts, your mind will no doubt jump to the glass and a premium phone. That's why there are cases. Glass is not the screen for the Galaxy Fold. It is the bodyguard.

The Fold uses a horizontal shell shell, with hard glass halves closing like a book to protect a delicate plastic display. Samsung even offers a case in the Galaxy Fold-Box as extra armor for the glass façade in case you drop the phone.

Samsung is aware of the issues and has said that it is seriously looking into the matter. "A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were made available to the media for review," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. "We received a few reports on the main presentation of the samples provided and we will thoroughly examine these units to determine the cause of the matter."


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There may be a reason that some of the cell phones have been damaged. Two testers experienced a total screen failure when removing a thin plastic film running along the screen of the Galaxy Fold. There is a small gap between this film and the bezel edge of the display, which has led to confusion about the nature of the film.

It is not immediately apparent if the plastic layer is part of the phone or if it is the film you normally see on devices that keep screens spotless and lint free during transport and storage.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has found this hard, that the latter was not the case. He tweeted about his tester last week: "The screen of my Galaxy Fold tester is completely broken and useless after two days – hard to know if it's common or not."

YouTube reviewer Marques "MKBHD" Brownlee had a similar experience after seeing the layer of his Galaxy Fold report had subtracted unity.

"PSA: There is a layer that appears on the screen of the Galaxy Fold like a screen protector," he tweeted . "It's NOT a screen protector – DO NOT remove it."

But the protective film is not the only source for Samsung's early problems. CNBC's Todd Haselton experienced a screen flicker on the left side of his review sample. Dieter Bohn of Verge also had problems: Bohn's screen formed a camber below the surface.

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

Intense criticism at the outset could hurt 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 a rumored foldable Phone like the Motorola Razr . As far as we know, Galaxy Fold will be available in the US on April 26th with AT & T, T-Mobile, and selected Samsung Experience stores.

It can also be preordered online. I contacted T-Mobile and AT & T and asked for a comment on how they can help buyers of Galaxy Fold in case something goes wrong.

T-Mobile responded, "We set options for our customers, please stay tuned." AT & T did not respond to a request for comment.

Samsung replied:

We take all necessary measures to ensure that information about the protective layer is clearly transmitted to our customers. The materials in the Galaxy Fold box, including the Quick Start Guide, contain information about the protective coating. Samsung.com will include a special Galaxy Fold FAQ for consumers to learn more about maintaining the Galaxy Fold as well as the protective layer. Sales representatives and customer care are trained with information about the highest level of protection.

What is this movie film talking about?

First, the film layer is addressed. I received my test device on Monday morning, then shot an unboxing video and feared that I forgot to remove that plastic layer – what would the YouTube viewers say ?!

It turns out that the foldable phone's 7.3-inch display, which looks like a sheer plastic film, is critical to ensuring that the phone does not get damaged.

You can see the edges of this layer here on my review sample:

  galaxy-fold-screen-film

If you look closely, you'll 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

OK, now it's clear: Whatever you do, do not pull that movie back. It's part of the screen and bad things happen when you remove it.

But even here, the protective layer is not the whole story, because two other critics, Haselton and Bohn, said they had not removed the film, still had problems rendering the fold unusable. So what's up?

What about the screen of the Galaxy Fold?

The Galaxy Fold has a completely different screen setup 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 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 sensitive display, the fold is more vulnerable, which becomes apparent.


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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 tester, 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 whether 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. "

Samsung added this explanation:

"The protective layer is part of the screen structure that protects the screen from accidental scratches. The main display of the Galaxy Fold is a new, advanced polymer layer and an adhesive that is flexible and tough enough to survive repeated folding operations. You're in place and place to protect against shocks It is built into the display and so on Therefore, it should not be removed by force. Consumers who find that the protective coating is not integrated into the display should contact Samsung 1-800-SAMSUNG Customer Support as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the display.

Desmond Smith, director of creative content and a tech evangelist at T-Mobile, tweeted that the final production models of the freight forwarder are displayed with a warning on the package of the Galaxy Fold screen: [19659070] However, flipping off the Fold screen layer is not the only issue

Although removing the plastic film was a problem for some, it is not entirely clear what the protective film does or how it affects the screen's behavior because two of the reviewers had the protector turned on, that a piece of debris might have accumulated under the screen to create the camber he felt, and a slight distortion on the surface of the crease.

Meanwhile, Haselton was watching a persistent one Screen flickering over the left half of the screen, we know that there are two batteries, one on each side work to form a single power source. I am not an electrical or chemical engineer, but I wonder if this might indicate a battery problem. I hope we all find out in one way or another.

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

Why are flexible plastic sieves in the first place?

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

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 attitude. 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 appraisers have not hinted at anything really dangerous, unlike reports of some batteries in the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 it was found to be overheating and sometimes on fire.


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Samsung does not want another PR disaster on their 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 detailed 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 faulty 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 how Samsung will clarify what Future owners of folding devices should do to protect their cell phones.

So far, Samsung has not addressed these specific questions, but has said that fold owners should do this. If you have any problems, contact Samsung Customer Service (1-800-SAMSUNG). We hope to learn a few more details before the foldable devices go on sale. In the meantime, it continues with CNET's Galaxy Fold .

Originally published on April 17 and updated regularly.


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