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Home / Tips and Tricks / Why Galaxy Fold screens have a meltdown and what you should do when you buy one

Why Galaxy Fold screens have a meltdown and what you should do when you buy one



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 darkened.

On Wednesday morning, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted about his review sample: "The screen on my Galaxy Fold tester is completely broken and useless in just two days, so it's hard to know if it's common or not 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. "We received some reports on the main presentation of the samples provided and we will thoroughly investigate these units to determine the cause of the matter," the company said in a statement to Bloomberg on Wednesday.

These reports of a Galaxy Fold is 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 of almost $ 1,980, is a big risk for the tech giants.

Intense criticism at the outset could affect future revenues and shake consumer confidence in the concept of folding 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) noted their problems as they removed a thin plastic film running along the screen of the Galaxy Fold.

This layer is conspicuous and not instantly recognizable if it belongs to the phone or if it was an extra movie that you normally see on devices to keep the screens dirty and lint-free 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 the foldable phone's 7.3-inch display, which looks like a thin sheet of plastic paper, is a critical protective layer to keep the phone from being damaged.

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

  Galaxy Movie

Look closely, and 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

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. Inside, however, the screen is made of a plastic (polymer) material called Samsung's Infinity Flex Display.

Samsung has developed this 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 may be vulnerable to certain problems that Samsung might be able to fix before the Fold reaches the buyer's hands.

For example, I was told that my review sample is an 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 – in fact no literature at all – but no other clue, like 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 on Tuesday for more information about this shift. 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 developed its position for Bloomberg on Wednesday:

The main display on the Galaxy Fold has an upper protective layer, which is part of the screen structure is to protect the screen from accidental scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure that this information is clearly delivered to our customers.

Desmond Smith, director of creative content and technical evangelist at T-Mobile, tweeted that the final production models of the freight forwarder are provided with a warning covering the screen of the Galaxy Fold: [19659045] But peeling off the screen layer is not the only problem.

Removing the plastic film was a problem for some, but it is not clear what the protective film does or how its removal is related to the screen's behavior. 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 create the camber he felt and a slight distortion on the surface of the crease.

Halseton meanwhile watched a persistent screen flicker across 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 could damage its early production phones and his reputation.

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

If you're really interested in owning the Galaxy Fold, I suggest 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. My review sample did not detect any anomalies of the screen at this time, but I keep an eye out for any issues.

The reported problems make the Galaxy Fold unusable, but so far the reviewers have not suggested any really dangerous behavior. In contrast to battery reports in it was discovered that the unfortunate Galaxy Note 7 overheats and sometimes burns.

Samsung does not want another PR disaster on the 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).

We also asked Samsung what happened in his opinion, whether buyers can be sure that their folds will not break, if Samsung will grant a refund, if customers cancel their order, and if the future is clear Folded owners should and should not do to protect their cell phones.

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

Story published on April 17 at 19:55. PT and updated at 20:24. PT with Samsung's statement.


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