Two months after sheepishly unveiling its first bendable handset, Samsung has finally shipped review copies of its Galaxy Fold to tech journalists in the United States. Many are questioning whether or not the product is truly ready for its release next week, as there have been a staggering amount of reports that the Galaxy Fold hasn’t lasted two days before failing.
While there has been concerns over the prominent crease seen in hands-on footage last month, many have noted that this is something easily tuned out when the device is in use. Instead, heads have turned to significantly more detrimental problems that render the display inoperative, with some reporting a complete blackout and others describing a strobe-like effect.
Dear future #GalaxyFold owners, I know I always say "No one ever read the instructions"… PLEASE READ THIS ONE!!!
(This is the wrap over the screen of the Galaxy Fold) pic.twitter.com/LuQPRfDZIE
— Des (@askdes) April 17, 2019
In many cases, the problem looks to have been caused by removing a built-in polymer screen protector that naturally sits above the OLED. Samsung had advised some reviewers to remove it, but the memo seems to have been missed by others. Samsung has stated that it will attempt to quell worries that he unsuspecting consumer might not know to keep the layer intact with a warning, because everyone reads the instructions, right?
In the case of CNBC’s Steve Kovach and The Verge’s Dieter Bohn, the Galaxy Fold’s display failed without removing the protector. In Kovach’s case, the larger screen of the Galaxy Fold has split into two, with the left-hand side flashing white and the right-hand side seemingly switching off at the end of the video. Bohn’s recount is a little different, as he describes some form of debris that interrupts the fold in his screen, breaking OLED coverage in the area.
After one day of use… pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
Samsung has acknowledged that there are problems with “a limited number” of sample models and has recalled faulty Galaxy Fold devices so that its boffins can “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.”
The company’s statement to The Verge shows no sign of slowing down the Galaxy Fold’s April 26th launch, although these plans could very well change when investigations are complete. It is certainly worrisome to investors of the $1980 / €2000 device, as they will have to proceed with caution until further notice.
KitGuru Says: Hiccups aren’t entirely unexpected with technology that’s still in its infancy, but this certainly begs the question whether it is ready for commercial release. Hopefully Samsung gets things back on track ahead of next week and the replacement samples prove that these are relatively isolated incidents.