On Monday, Samsung officially let the press handle the Galaxy Fold after it was shown off in a tightly controlled demo in February. Just two days later, the first review units are encountering multiple issues all focused on the foldable display.
Over the past hour, journalists from The Verge, Bloomberg, and CNBC all shared issues they encountered with the Galaxy Fold review units they received on Monday.
According to Dieter Bohn, a small “bulge” appeared on the crease of the Galaxy Fold that’s “enough to slightly distort the screen.” Besides being able to feel the lump, there are “telltale lines of a broken OLED” after just normal usage by The Verge.
There’s something pressing up against the screen at the hinge, right there in the crease. My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen.
However, what’s more worrisome is the underlying durability of the plastic screen. There is a built-in screen protector that Samsung cautions users not to take off, but Mark Gurman at Bloomberg and MKBHD removed the layer due to a lack of clear instructions in the box.
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
After removing the film, Gurman noted how parts of the screen began blacking-out over the span of 24 hours to the point where only an unusable sliver remains.
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
Lastly, Steve Kovach at CNBC shared a video of the screen flickering on and off until the left panel just stopped working. Like The Verge, they did not remove the protective layer. This also comes as Samsung sold out the nearly $2,000 device online in just a day.
This 7.3-inch “Main Display” features a 4.2:3 aspect ratio at 1536 x 2152. Samsung last year rated the Infinity Flex screen at “hundreds of thousands” folds before wearing out.
To create this new display, Samsung is using a flexible OLED panel without any glass on top. Instead, the phone replaces the traditional glass with a flexible “advanced composite polymer.” There’s also a 45% thinner polarizer.
Samsung has yet to comment, and is working on supplying all those journalists with new Galaxy Folds. It’s not yet clear how widespread the issues are, with these review units presumably all coming from the same production batch. Meanwhile, it’s not yet known if this will impact commercial availability that is slated for later this month.
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
(Cover image via Mark Gurman)