Some of the first reviews of Samsung's $1,980 Galaxy Fold are beginning to hit the internet, but multiple reviewers say they've already managed to break its main 7.3-inch display.
A few impacted people include Marques Brownlee, Dieter Bohn of The Verge, Steve Kovach of CNBC, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. With the exception of Brownlee and Gurman, all of the breaks appear to involve the screen section over the hinge.
Affected phones will typically display corrupt graphics along the hinge line or one half of the display. In some cases, at least, problems have been a result of human error — a transparent layer on the phone can be mistaken for a screen protector, and trying to peel it off breaks the display completely.
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
Another trend though is that broken Folds have generally only been in use for a day or two, suggesting inherent design flaws. The device is not yet in the hands of customers, but presumably, the first batch scheduled to be shipped to early pre-orderers before the end of the month are already packaged and ready to go.
The Galaxy Fold isn't the world's first foldable smartphone, but it is the first from a major vendor, designed to attract rich shoppers who want to be on the cutting edge.
If Samsung is forced to do a recall, the results will likely be less disastrous than the one for the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, which cost the company some $5 billion. While the Fold is priced at nearly $2,000, there are likely far fewer in circulation.
Update: Samsung responded to the issue in a statement to The Verge, saying, "A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter."
The company did not explain what was causing the problem, but noted the top protective layer is designed to be a permanent part of the display and could cause damage if removed.