TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
In brief: Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold folding phones have come a long way since the first iteration of the device, especially the excellent Z Fold 4. But a significant number of owners of the previous generation Z Fold 3 are reporting cracks, lines, and dead pixels appearing in the folding screen for no obvious reason, and many of the devices are out of warranty.
Samsung's community forums, Twitter, and Reddit, are filled with stories of users encountering problems with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 screen, from cracks forming for no apparent reason to thick black lines appearing in the crease and slowly getting more prominent. Virtually all of the users say these problems were not caused by accidental drops, impact damage, or heavy-handedness.
Released in August 2021, Samsung said the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be folded 200,000 times, which equals 100 folds per day for five years. But many owners are claiming this to be far from accurate. PhoneArena notes that one Redditor, who claims to have only opened the phone about 2-3 times per week, said their handset cracked along the center fold after 15 months of careful ownership. Another who suffered the same problem said Samsung asked $800 for an out-of-warranty repair.
Even phones that break in their warranty period could end up costing users if Samsung decides it wasn't the result of software or hardware defects. One person said their Fold 3 developed a crack in the fold after just three months, but Samsung is asking $700 to repair it as the company claims to have found an impact point and dead pixels caused by a fall, something the owner insists never happened.
Avoid🚫🚫 @SamsungUK@Samsung Z FOLD 3--- DC WORLD (@_DCWorld) May 3, 2022
only 5 months old and the screen is starting to slowly crack, down the crease after opening and closing, not good for a phone meant to fold!!
Both @EE & @Samsung are not helping a simple warranty issue here,
Crap service & trying to charge pic.twitter.com/OI3rooCulF
Early reviewers discovered screen issues in the original Galaxy Fold before it launched, causing Samsung to delay the release by months. While foldables are a lot more durable these days, folding devices remain more delicate than standard handsets. But no device that cost almost $2,000 at launch should be breaking for no reason around a year or so after purchase.