A week ago Samsung first released Galaxy Fold in my hand, the collapsible phone has an escalating list of issues that now urge Samsung tountil May. Samsung has not responded to a request for comment. The problem began when four early production review units . The mounting problems have darkened the concerns of other customers for prolonged wear on the seam or fold where the phone bends in half.
This is a disagreeable position for Samsung, the first major brand to launch a collapsible phone. In light of last week's reports of breaking Galaxy Fold screens, the conversation has taken a turn from public excitement to pointing and worrying. Twitter, Reddit and other social networks have exploded inblaming everyone from Samsung to rush Galaxy Fold to the reviewers themselves, two of whom may have hastened the breakdown of their foldable review units by peeling off something that turns out that they would never be stripped.
CNET's Galaxy Fold review unit is undamaged.
Samsung's problem underscores how risky and fragile the concept of a collapsible phone really is. Folding phones represent a new type of device designed to maximize the screen size without expanding the overall size of the device. After using the phone in its opened tablet mode, just click it closed to carry around, with a smaller external screen for less tasks such as tracking your messages, navigating maps, and answering or rejecting calls. Samsung would undoubtedly lead the way, burn a reputation as an innovator in the smartphone's transition to the next big thing.
"A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were submitted to the media for review" in a statement last Wednesday. "We have received some reports on the main display of the specified samples. We will carefully inspect these units to determine the cause of the case."
Until Samsung and other brands, constant buyers can save the future of Folding phones hanging insecure in balance.
Pictures of the damaged phones ranged from a completely black screen to a bubble blade unit and one with a portion of the screen white and the other half sworn out. It leaves the curious buyers and those who preordered the phone waiting for answers: What went wrong if problems will affect all folding phones or just this early run and where buyers can reverse something happening with the Galaxy Fold.
Fold uses a horizontal clamshell design where hard glass halves close like a book to protect a sore 7.3-inch plastic screen inside. Samsung also includes a case in the Galaxy Fold box as an extra cover for the glass surface, if you release the phone.
There may be a specific reason why some phones were damaged. Two reviewers experienced a total screen error when they removed a thin plastic film running along the Galaxy Fold's screen. There is a narrow gap between this film and the edge of the screen, which has led to confusion about the nature of the film.
It is not immediately apparent whether the plastic layer belongs to the phone or if it is the movie you usually watch on devices to keep the screens dirty and lint-free during shipping and storage.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman found out hardly that the latter was not the case. He tweeted this about his review unit last week: "The screen of my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Difficult to know if it is widespread or not."
The YouTube notifier Marques "MKBHD" Brownlee had a similar experience after stratifying the layer from the Galaxy Fold review unit.
"PSA: There is a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's screen," tweeted . "It's NOT a screen protector. Don't remove it."
But the protective film is not the only source of Samsung's early problems. CNBC's Todd Haselton experienced the screen flickering on the left side of his review unit. Verge's Dieter Bohn also had problems, with Bohn's screen forming a bulge beneath the surface.
These reports of a wrong Galaxy Fold is a nightmare situation for Samsung, the first major brand to sell a folding phone. Fold, which has a 4.6-inch screen on the outside, a bendable 7.3-inch screen on the inside and a price of nearly $ 1,900, pose a major risk to the technology.
Intensive criticism from the beginning can damage future sales and shake consumer confidence in the concept of foldable phones in general. Galaxy Fold's chance to lead the emerging category may come alive if buyers return to the innovative design or choose a rival model likeor a rumored foldable phone like .
As far as we know, Galaxy Fold will still be sold in the US on April 26 with AT & T, T-Mobile and select Samsung Experience stores. It is also available for preorder online. I've reached out to T-Mobile and AT&T is asking for a comment on how they will support Galaxy Fold buyers if something goes wrong.
T-Mobile replied: "We stop options for our customers, please stay up to date." AT & T did not respond to a request for comment.
We take all necessary measures to ensure that information about protective layers is clearly delivered to our customers. Materials in the Galaxy Fold box, including the Quick Start Guide, will contain information about the protection layer. Samsung.com will have a dedicated Galaxy Fold FAQ for consumers to learn more about handling the Galaxy Fold, including the protection layer information. Retailers and customer care are trained with information about the top layer of protection.
Is Samsung delayed the Galaxy Fold launch?
That's the word on the street. Samsung is reportedlyto "in the next few weeks". We hope it means May. Samsung has not responded to several requests for delays in the last couple of days.
Why Samsung delays the delivery date on April 26 and what should I do if I bought one?
Samsung probably delayed the Galaxy Folds delivery date to investigate (and hopefully correctly) the cause of the flashing screen and during -screen bulge that two of the reviewers experienced. The company will also likely create new packaging for all manufactured Galaxy Fold phones that will make it clear to future owners not to shell out the plastic film from the Fold screen.
Track down the Folders that have already been made and replace the packaging – perhaps a cover or a large print guide in the box – takes time.
What is this movie store thingamajiggy that everyone is talking about?
Let's deal with the film store first. I had received my review unit on Monday morning, then shot an unboxing video and worried that I had forgotten to take off this plastic layer – what would the YouTube viewers say?!
It looks like a paper-tipped plastic plastic covering the 7.3-inch screen of the folding phone is a protective layer that is critical to keeping your phone harmful.
You can see the edges of it stored here on my review unit:
OK, so now we are clear: whatever you do, don't bark back on this movie. It's part of the screen and bad things happen when you remove it.
But again, the protective layer is not the whole story, because two other reviewers, Haselton and Bohn, said they did not remove the film and still had problems that caused the Fold to be unusable. So what is happening?
What is it about the Galaxy Folds screen?
Galaxy Fold has a completely different screen set than any other phone. There is a 4.6-inch exterior screen that is covered with Gorilla Glass – the same as other Galaxy phones like the S10 and S10 Plus ($ 961 on Amazon) . But inside, the screen is made of a plastic material (polymer) that Samsung calls its Infinity Flex Display.
Samsung created this with a new process and specific glue to cope with the bending and bending of the screen without breaking. The protective layer is supposed to remain in place to prevent damage to the screen below – this is what actually causes your "screen" to light up. Without the hardness of the glass to cover the sensitive display, Folden is more vulnerable, something that has become clear.
Is there anything different about the review phones?
Yes. Examiner received early production models. This means that these are not the final review units and may be prone to some problems that Samsung may have the opportunity to fix before Fold reaches the buyer's hands.
For example, I learned that my review unit is an unlocked European version that does not support US services such as Bixby Voice, Samsung Health and Samsung Pay. Similarly, I was warned that the call quality could be compromised because the phone is not optimized for American bands.
While I fully test this review unit by Galaxy Fold, I keep a rating until I get the final production model CNET ordered.
Has Samsung said you should not remove the movie?
It is not clear if Samsung thoroughly informed every reviewer who received a phone call protection screen. There was no instruction in my box – no literature at all – in fact – but no other indication, like a pull tab, that you should remove it.
However, I did almost anyway. As a reviewer, I like to experience the phone as "clean" as possible. This means that everything I can peel off will come from. I emailed Samsung for more information about this warehouse on Tuesday. A spokesman replied, "Galaxy Fold is made with a special protective layer. It's not a screen protector – don't try to remove it."
The company further developed its position:
"Some reviewers reported having removed the top The screen on the screen causes damage to the screen. The main display of the Galaxy Fold has one top protection layer included in the display structure to protect the screen from accidental scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding glue on the main display may cause damage. We will ensure that this information is clearly delivered to our customers. "
Samsung added this statement as well:
"The protective layer is part of the display structure to protect the screen from accidental scratches. The Galaxy Fold's main screen is made with a new, advanced polymer layer and glue that is flexible and tough to endure repeated folding functions. As the main display is made of polymer, it protects the extra protective layer you are in place to protect yourself from the impact, it is built-in in the display, why it should not be removed by force. Consumers who notice that the protective layer is not integrated on the screen should contact Samsung Customer Care at 1-800-SAMSUNG as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the display. "
Desmond Smith, director of creative content and a tech evangelist at T-Mobile, tweeted that the carrier's final production models will come with a warning on the loop that crosses the Galaxy Fold's screen:
But scrubbing of Fold's screen bearings is not the only problem
When you remove the plastic film caused a problem for some, it is not entirely clear what the protective film does or how the removal is related to the screen's behavior Remember that two of the reviewers kept the protection. suspects that a piece of debris may have been placed under the screen to create the bulge he felt and a slight distortion on the surface of the fold.
Meanwhile, Haselton observed a persistent screen flicker over the left half of the screen. on each side, working in concert to form a single power source, I am not an electrical or chemical engineer, but I wonder if it can indicate a battery problem, hopefully we will find out something or something else.
The risky design of Galaxy Fold has, in any event, created some inconsistencies that can damage its early production phones and its reputation.
Why are flexible plastic screens in the first place?
Right now, the glass does not bend so well. It's something that Corning – the creator of Gorilla Glass, covering most advanced phones – works on . Don't expect flexible glass to save other folding phones, though.
If I ordered Galaxy Fold, should I cancel it?
If you're really interested in owning Galaxy Fold, I suggest the wait and see approach. We do not know how widespread the problem is, and whether it affects a poor rate or the entire range. I'm not worried, but let's see what is developing. My own review unit has not experienced screen deviations after a week's use (I did not remove the plastic layer), but I watch some problems.
The reported problems make the affected Galaxy Fold unusable, but so far, reviewers have not set any real dangerous behavior, unlike reports after some batteries in theproved overheated and sometimes burning.
Samsung does not want another PR disaster on its hands. I am convinced it would fully refund a broken Galaxy Fold if it happened to you. Whatever we will hopefully get a more concrete explanation before the Galaxy Fold is officially sold.
What does Samsung do to fix the problem?
Samsung is well aware of the problems and works with reviewers to replace broken units to investigate what went wrong (see above statements).
In addition, we have asked Samsung what it feels like if buyers can feel confident that their Folds will not break if Samsung gives a refund if people cancel their order and how Samsung will clarify which future Fold owners should and should Don't do to protect their phones.
So far, Samsung has not addressed these specific issues, but has said that Fold owners should contact Samsung customer care (1-800-SAMSUNG) if they experience any problems. We hope to get some more details before the folding units go for sale. Meanwhile, it is how it goes with.
Originally published April 17 and updated frequently.