American journalists have received a Samsung Galaxy Fold test unit this week and, although the first impressions were good, the second ones are still a disaster. Several units have suffered problems with the screen or the hinge in just one day of use.
Steve Kovach, from CNBC, shared this video on Twitter in which he sees how one of the halves of the flexible panel of the phone has stopped working:
Mark Gurman, of Bloomberg, says that his screen was completely unused after two days of use. Apparently, the Galaxy Fold comes with a protective polymer on the screen that Gurman withdrew when he received the phone. Samsung has told him that he should not have removed that adhesive layer:
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
The YouTuber Marques Brownlee fell into the same error. He removed the film from the screen thinking it was unnecessary and the panel began to fail:
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
There is a warning in the box that tries to dissuade you from removing the film:
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
Steve Kovach says his panel broke without altering the screen in any way. Dieter Bohn, of The Verge, also did not remove the protective polymer, but his test unit also failed. Something was introduced in the hinge:
SUPER YIKES: something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge. I don’t know how it happened, and I’m waiting to hear back from Samsung. It’s broken. https://t.co/p1014uB01D pic.twitter.com/3FZJkWtSKr
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) April 17, 2019
The journalist says he did not do anything out of the ordinary, but something got between the hinge and the screen, forming a bulge that ended up breaking the OLED panel (now there are two stripes in the middle of the screen). Dieter unit also has some markings on the plastic layer.
The Galaxy Fold will go on sale on April 26 for $1980. In the United States, reservations are open, and it has already been got out of stock.
In response to WSJ, Samsung has explained its position on these issues with the Galaxy Fold:
“A limited number of Galaxy Fold samples were provided to the media for review. We have received some reports on the main screen in the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the problem.”
On the other hand, some analysts reported having removed the top layer of the screen causing damage to the screen. The main screen of the Galaxy Fold has a top protective layer, which is part of the structure of the screen designed to protect the screen from unintentional scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main screen can cause damage. We will ensure that this information is clearly delivered to our customers. “