Samsung announced yesterday that it has delayed the worldwide launch of its long-awaited Galaxy Fold in an attempt to mitigate issues found on review devices. It could be quite some time before we get a replacement release window, as the team at iFixit have determined that the problems could stem from the design of the phone itself.
Famous for its OLED displays, it’s not surprising that Samsung opted for the newer, brighter, more energy efficient technology when developing its flexible panels. Unlike the now-aging LCD screen, OLEDs are required to be hermetically sealed to prevent foreign bodies such as dust from appearing underneath. Any deviance from this can result in fatal errors that render the screen broken.
While a similar effect could be achieved by pairing two LCDs or OLEDs side-by-side, the core aim of the new foldable panel is to seamlessly bridge the gap between smartphone and tablet without an intrusive bezel in the centre. Unfortunately, Samsung seemingly hasn’t accounted for the lack of seal in the fold itself, allowing debris to infiltrate the handset.
Many problems with the review devices were brushed off as human error, as the majority had seemingly peeled off the non-removable screen protector without heeding the instructional warnings. This would certainly make the Galaxy Fold more susceptible to particles, but even models with the screen protector intact suffered a similar fate just days later.
Experts have also questioned the durability of the Galaxy Fold, stating that Samsung’s claim of 200,000 folds might not accurately represent real life. The South Korean firm tested its flexible handset with robots that apply consistent pressure without variance. This won’t apply to those that handle the smartphone differently, putting pressure on the screen itself or closing and opening the device faster.
Hopefully Samsung can come up with a workaround in the coming months, as many customers have already paid for their pre-order. In the meantime, the company is set to face fierce competition from its rivals such as Huawei, as the market is left wide open.
KitGuru Says: Some people find it shocking that the company must not have conducted sufficient hands-on tests in order to let so many problems out of the gate, but others might question if Samsung already knew. After all, the Galaxy Fold was skittishly unveiled behind glass cases and in the hands of staff only. Hopefully these problems are resolved sooner rather than later.