Technical issues are to be expected from such a revolutionary product
Samsung finally let media touch and try their $1,980 (Php 102.3K) Galaxy Fold a few days ago, lending out review devices to select members of the press. And if you haven’t heard by now, some of those units have broken a mere days after they were handed over for review.
The reports indicate issues with the Galaxy Fold’s top plastic layer that protects the inner, folding screen from abuse, which at first glance looks like a regular screen protector. A few people tried to remove that protective layer which broke their phones. Samsung wasn’t too clear on the whole don’t-remove-the-polymer-layer-or-you-ruin-your-phone, but apparently, they’ll be much clearer moving forward on units sold to the public.
Another point of failure that showed up was a bulge right at the point where the device’s screen folds, which was experienced by The Verge’s Dieter Bohn. There’s still no solid explanation on how that bulge got there, or how to prevent that particular issue from happening moving forward.
The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not. pic.twitter.com/G0OHj3DQHw
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
You’d think that well-publicized failures of a phone that costs more than Php 100K would sink confidence in the product, but in reality, it’s not that big of a crisis as people make it out to be. You need to keep in mind that Samsung is doing something with the Galaxy Fold that hasn’t been done before – namely produce a consumer smartphone that has a screen that folds(!). It’s insane innovation, one that’s obviously not perfect.
PSA: There’s a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold’s display. It’s NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
And to be honest, first-generation products rarely get it right the first time. Even Apple’s first-generation iPhone, as innovative as it was at the time, had its own flaws. It had a recessed headphone jack, which meant you couldn’t use your own without an adapter. Battery life was terrible, and the phone relied on a slow EDGE data network that hampered app use. Apple managed to fix many of the issues of the first iPhone with the iPhone 3G, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So yeah, the Galaxy Fold has its share of problems, and to be fair to Samsung, they’ve already retrieved the offending folding phones to check what went wrong with them. What happened is actually a blessing in disguise for Samsung – it’s better for a few journalists to experience these problems and fix them before paying customers get their hands on one.
A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.
Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.
Even with all the issues that we’re hearing from reviewers of the Galaxy Fold, we’re not counting it out yet. We’re on the verge of a new era in smartphones, and we’re excited to see how it plays out.