Why it matters: As the first (usable) folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold had a lot of ground to cover. A backyard teardown has revealed some of the incredible things the engineering team was able to achieve but also sheds light on the difficulties they face and what challenges they might overcome next.
Photos of the teardown were published on Chinese social site Weibo, but they’ve since been taken down (possibly at the request of Samsung). While the teardown-er didn’t go into much detail about the process, they say that the main screen is easy to remove and soft, “like rubber,” while the little screen is much more challenging and shattered. However, it’s unclear if the large screen actually worked when the phone was put back together.
The hinge is certainly a point of interest. It’s reinforced at three points with five watch-like components that are arranged incredibly precisely. Traversing the bend are two display ribbons labeled “L” and “R” indicating that the left and right halves of the display receive different input signals. This helps to explain the delay between the left and right halves that some reviewers have noticed.
Based on this teardown, the path forward seems clear. For starters, the batteries are tiny and take up much less room than in a normal phone. That should be fixed pretty easily. Similarly, it looks like there’s no reason for the notch to be so large, other than the awkward position of the cameras. Hopefully, they can be moved closer to the corner.