In brief: iFixit has performed one of its teardowns on Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. Not surprisingly, given the problems experienced by review unit users, the device has received a repairability score of just 2 out of 10.
Last week saw members of the tech press report that their Galaxy Fold review units were breaking after just a couple of days. The Verge reported that a piece of debris got stuck under the screen causing a bulge that eventually gave way and broke.
iFixit notes that there is a 7mm gap in the bezel where the two halves of the screen meet. This leaves the display exposed, and should some debris make itself inside, the screen will break much like the Verge’s unit.
Additionally, when the Fold is closed, there are large gaps flanking the spine that will likely attract dirt, which could scratch and damage the display.
iFixit noted a number of issues with the Fold, such as the mechanics wearing over time, eventually causing so much wear and tear on the hinges and display that they will need to be replaced. The lack of protection and fragility of the screen means it will likely break in time, and having to replace either of the two batteries is unnecessarily difficult. The glued-down glass also makes breakages more likely and increases the difficulty of all repairs, leading to that poor repairability score of 2.
Samsung said it has been investigating the Galaxy Fold problems and is now postponing the launch, which was supposed to happen this Friday. The company intends to carry out further tests and make improvements before announcing a new release date "in the coming weeks."
It’s unknown whether the issues with the Galaxy Fold will affect other companies working on folding devices. Most of these, such as Huawei’s Mate X, use a different design to Samsung’s phone, so they might avoid similar problems.
Make sure to check out the full iFixit breakdown here.