Bottom line: Tech writers at IFA 2019 still collectively seem high on the device despite the early launch hiccups and high price tag. The changes Samsung has implemented will no doubt lower the odds of the phone breaking out of the box but long-term durability on new and unproven tech remains a mystery that won’t be solved anytime soon.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold fiasco has been well documented. The futuristic folding phone was set to launch this past spring yet at the 11th hour, Samsung postponed its release in the wake of multiple early review units breaking.
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
Some of the handsets died by natural causes. A piece of debris somehow got under the screen of the unit that The Verge was testing, for example. Others were inadvertently destroyed when reviewers mistakenly peeled off what they thought was a factory installed screen protector. The film in question was actually part of the screen and removing it wrecked the device.
If skilled tech reviewers mistook this for a screen protector, what would happen to devices in the hands of ordinary consumers?
Samsung went back to the drawing board and spent the last five months trying to salvage the Galaxy Fold. What they settled on is a three-pronged approach designed to further shield the delicate folding display from accidental damage.
It starts with a revamped hinge mechanism that’s much sturdier than before. The new hinge also minimizes the gap between itself and the displays which should help keep dirt and debris from finding making inroads.
Samsung has also added clips, or end caps, to the top and bottom seams of the device – again, to serve as a barrier against dirt and debris. They’re noticeable but don’t seem to overly stand out. If you didn’t know they weren’t there in the original, you probably wouldn’t think much of them.
Last but certainly not least is that screen protector-like film from the original. It’s still present but Samsung has extended the edges a bit so they now tuck under the phone’s bezels, eliminating them as a potential fail point.
The revamped Samsung Galaxy Fold launches in South Korea on September 6 before landing in the UK, Singapore and Germany in a couple of weeks. A US launch date has not yet been revealed.