Welcome to the unfortunate reality of gen-one folding phones.
What you need to know
- Samsung’s re-designed Galaxy Fold has already broken for one user.
- A random blob has appeared under the screen, likely something that got caught under the plastic display.
- This appears to be a side effect of normal use and not a serious design flaw like last time.
Samsung built a lot of hype for the Galaxy Fold earlier this year, and shortly before the phone was supposed to be released in late-April, Samsung ended up canceling pre-orders and delaying the launch as a result of various design flaws that made it extremely easy to damage the Fold. A new and more durable version of the phone is re-launching in the U.S. on Friday, September 27, but there’s already a report of this new and improved model breaking for someone.
On September 26, Brian Heater from TechCrunch published an artitcle titled, “My Galaxy Fold display is damaged after a day.” Here’s what he says:
I pulled the Fold from my pocket while standing in line at CVS after work the other day. I opened it up and spotted something new nestled between the lock screen’s flapping butterfly wings. There was a brightly colored, amorphous blob.
You can see a picture of Brain’s Fold below. The bulge in the display is not very big, but it’s still a noticeable imperfection that reconfirms the fragility of plastic displays and the Fold’s core design.
Samsung responded to Brian’s broken Fold, saying:
We have seen an enthusiastic response to the launch of the Galaxy Fold in several markets over the past few weeks, with thousands of consumers enjoying the unique experience it offers.
The Galaxy Fold is a first-of-its-kind device, made with new materials and technologies that allow it to open and close just like a book.
We encourage Galaxy Fold owners to read the care instructions included in the box and in the product manual available online. Products used within these guidelines are covered under warranty. If they have any questions, Galaxy Fold owners can consult with Samsung product specialists through the Galaxy Fold Premier Service any time, any day.
Is it disappointing that Samsung’s re-designed Fold is still susceptible to being easily damaged? Sure. Does this mean everyone who pre-ordered the new Fold should cancel it and cause a panic? No.
As we highlighted during out hands-on with the new Fold during IFA, Samsung has made considerable improvements over the original Fold. There are plastic caps on either end of the hinge to keep dust and other particles out of the folding mechanism, the hinge feels more sturdy, and the ends of the plastic cover over the display are now hidden under the Fold’s frame so it can’t be peeled off.
Those little changes make genuine improvements to the Fold’s design, but Samsung never promised that the new Fold would be indestructible.
There’s still a crease in the middle of the display where the folding happens, and Samsung includes an entire pamphlet in the box telling you what not to do with the Fold to keep it safe. Furthermore, this is just one report of a broken Fold coming out compared to the wave of broken Fold’s we saw a few months back.
It sucks that you’ll need to baby the Galaxy Fold if you decide to buy it, but unfortunately, that’s to be expected with a first-generation product like this. There’s only so much Samsung can do to alter physics, and until generation two and three come out, that’s something we’re going to have to get used to.
Hands-on: The new Galaxy Fold feels tighter, stronger, and just as groundbreaking