A number of US tech writers and journalists have reported issues with the durability of Samsung's first foldable, raising concerns days out from the device's launch.
Reviewers from The Verge, Bloomberg and others have reported issues with the Samsung Galaxy Fold in the last 24 hours - with several journalists sharing photos and documentation via Twitter.
Though the circumstances vary, the common thread here is the Fold's interior display. Some reviewers have reported screen-breaking bulges. Others have reported issues with the device's display after removing a protective piece of plastic covering the screen that they mistook for a screen protector.
After one day of use... pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
In an editorial piece entitled 'My Samsung Galaxy Fold screen broke after just a day', The Verge's Deiter Bohn writes that "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."
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
"It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is."
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.— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
To be clear: it's unknown at this time whether the issues being reported by Bohn and others are reflective of an isolated hardware fault or something more widespread. Bohn says his original review sample has been returned to Samsung for a diagnosis of what went wrong.
Still, there's irony here in the fact that Samsung have been pushing durability as a key point of difference between their first foldable and it's biggest competitor: Huawei's Mate X.
In the past, Samsung have claimed the Galaxy Fold's hinge would be good for 200,000 folds - which they approximate to five years of regular use.
The fact that reviewers are running into problems with the foldable after a matter of days raises serious concerns about the longevity of the device. PC World Australia has yet to get our hands on a Galaxy Fold but, when we do, we're very interested to see how it holds up.
Update: PC World Australia reached out to Samsung for comment and were provided with the following statement: "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.”
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is due to launch in the US and other markets on the 24th of April. Australian pricing and availability is still to be determined.