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Some Galaxy Fold devices are already breaking

By David Matthews · 24 replies
Apr 17, 2019
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  1. Members of the tech press have only had the Galaxy Fold for a couple of days and are already experiencing issues. According to The Verge, their review unit somehow got a piece of debris stuck underneath the screen causing a small bulge. Eventually, the bulge gave way and the screen broke.

    To his credit, he seems to have treated the phone just fine, or at least as well as he would any other phone. He does say that a piece of molding clay that his team uses for video shoots could have somehow made its way into the phone. Fortunately, Samsung is sending a replacement unit although they haven't made an official statement on the matter.

    Both Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Marques Brownlee aka MKBHD had completely unusable review units as well. However, this was likely because both Mark and Marques peeled off a protective layer of the screen. Apparently, they thought it was removable (possibly a regular screen protector). To be fair, Samsung does have a label on the phone explicitly warning not to remove the protective layer.

    Last but not least, Steve Kovach from CNBC tweeted that the screen on his Galaxy Fold was flickering.

    While cynics will likely point out that a ~$2,000 device should be flawless, keep in mind that this is new technology in a first generation product. Samsung likely knew there would be kinks to work out as early adopters discovered them. While that doesn't absolve Samsung, it does mean that we should expect a few bumps (literally and figuratively) on a phone that's otherwise pretty revolutionary.

    That said, everyone remembers the Galaxy Note 7 disaster and any structural problems with a Samsung mobile device (especially one this expensive) is sure to be met with some trepidation. Samsung probably only made a limited number which would surely help the company to better manage any problems that arose.

    The Galaxy Fold is currently out of stock and seems to be in high demand. Hopefully, that demand pushes Samsung to iron out the quirks with this first generation Fold into a much improved second generation.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 722   +559

    "He does say that a piece of molding clay that his team uses for video shoots could have somehow made its way into the phone."

    While we probably don't all have clay laying around, we all have other stuff in our pockets. Anything could get lodged. Pocket lint, paper clips, rocks or yard waste, dirt, sand, paper pieces, my Precious, etc etc. If this happens to someone we might consider "technical", imagine when in the hands of the average hooligan?

    I didn't expect folding screens would ever make it. Does anything electronic last very long when banged on and creased repeatedly?
    ghostf1re and PEnnn like this.
  3. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 730   +1,056

    Anything can get in the creases. After a few months in my pockets the charging port of my phone often has fluff deep in it. Tissues are in there. Random tat I carry around that also breaks up. Candy wrappers. Receipts. Whatever. No problem. Pick it out. But if it breaks this phone then that's a big problem indeed.

    The screen layer thing is bizarre though. They should have read the instructions, absolutely.

    But the writing seems to be small. If I was selling this to average dimwitted consumer I would have that warning massive on the phone, in big red lettering with a big skull icon. :skull: If these guys make that mistake then thousands of other dummies also inevitably will, without an in-your-face warning.
    Godel likes this.
  4. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,456   +1,033

    "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
    ghostf1re, bea108, Carljames and 4 others like this.
  5. kevbev89

    kevbev89 TS Maniac Posts: 186   +167

    I didn't think of that problem/flaw until I read this article. Imagine someone who is more outdoorish who goes rock climbing... very high chance a piece of grit would get stuck between and just wreck the phone.
  6. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Addict Posts: 179   +72

    When you unfold the screen for the first time it should flash red with the message, try to ignore that.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,377   +3,770

    I would expect ANY design engineer to expect and design for obvious issues and problems. You can't expect this thing to go in your pocket and not pick up "some" of the junk that can be in there. This sounds like the classic case of trying to beat the market to the punch no matter how many short cuts needed to be taken.
    onestepforward likes this.
  8. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Enthusiast Posts: 83   +83

    So, if it is not clay / lint / dust proof.....does that mean it's not water proof / resistant as well??
    onestepforward likes this.
  9. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 381   +406

    killmess and onestepforward like this.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,987   +3,476

    They need an AI that can simulate the stupidity of the human race and run products through it first. Canned tests are nothing compared to the stuff regular people will subject their phones to.
  11. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    Another overpriced, rushed-to-market-gimmick by Samsung fails.

    I guess that whole "folding-phones-are-the-future" nonsense fizzled out like a bad fart LOL.
    killmess and onestepforward like this.
  12. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,936   +1,485

    Old brick phones. We used to play kick them as if they were footballs for fun as kids.
  13. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    Carljames likes this.
  14. joseph mcfadden

    joseph mcfadden TS Rookie

    See this is part of the problem with people in general - the majority of the general public is far too stupid to have something like this. also, most people don't read. this is a device with a SCREEN THAT FOLDS - be careful with it or it will break. very simple. if you are careful with, and take care of, your technology then buy one. if you have broken 7 iPhones in the last 2 years because you throw them in your purse, drop them, crack them, sit on them, scratch them, toss it in your glove box, etc. then DON'T BUY IT.

    if YOU broke the device because YOU misused it, why are you posting about it telling the world there is something wrong with it.

    its a FOLDABLE phone, its not SUPPOSED to be durable. do you sit in the bathtub with your laptop?? no! do you take your new dodge off-roading?? no!!
  15. joseph mcfadden

    joseph mcfadden TS Rookie

    ...why the hell would you take your PHONE rock climbing???? that is your OWN FAULT
    QuantumPhysics likes this.
  16. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 722   +559

    Sorry I wasn't more detailed in my response. I meant the electronics themselves - the circuits. A mechanically solid hinge point wasn't my intent. Were the circuit boards themselves part of the folding point on those brick phones?
  17. kevbev89

    kevbev89 TS Maniac Posts: 186   +167

    Chillax yo.

    You aren't everybody, everybody has their own usage habits. And I don't rock climb, I'm just drawing an example where you can have such problems easily. The same can also occur while hiking (hopefully that doesn't freak you out) where you can just as easily get something in the fold.
    onestepforward likes this.
  18. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,766   +1,160

    No, not flawless but dumb proof, you shouldn't need to be wearing a glove in a controlled environment to use a freaking phone, if the sticker looks like it can be peeled off, guess what? That's how all brand new things come like, and to everyone's surprise, you WILL try to remove it.

    It doesn't feel like it was made clear enough that it's not a protective layer, rather something that NEEDS to be there.
  19. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 659   +551

    At $2K not many people will be buying this, but for $2K those people will have a simple expectation that it can tolerate debris in a pocket and that the device won't look like it has an annoying screen protector on it.

    If that second fact was not obvious to a number of reviewers, then Samsung made a big error and damn well better fix either the look of the screen layer, or the communication of its importance to the everyday ($2K!) user.

    This is a customer satisfaction issue and Samsung should delay shipment to get this right the first time.
    onestepforward likes this.
  20. Aux101

    Aux101 TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +6

    Who would have thought!!!
  21. Jules Mark

    Jules Mark TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +17

    As a victim of Samsung's bad quality product/management, I welcome this news very VERY MUCH.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977

    Hey, this is actually an improvement. At least these aren't setting themselves on fire in people's pockets..(y) (Y) :rolleyes:
    wiyosaya likes this.
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,950   +2,267

    Fixed that for you! ;)
  24. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Guru Posts: 414   +265

    Lots of people here are talking about pocket debris and what not, but what about if a woman owns it and has it in her purse? The amount of random stuff in my girlfriend's purse would destroy a phone like this real fast. How about women who put their phones in their back pockets because they can't fit them in the front or just don't like how it looks bulging in the front?
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977

    Yo, what's the problem? They're only $2,000 bucks a pop. If it breaks, just buy her a new one.:laughing: :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

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