Samsung’s much-anticipated foldable phone has been delayed following reports that the screen on some review units broke after just two days of use. Now, a new teardown from iFixit provides a closer look at the Galaxy Fold’s durability — or lack thereof.
After prying apart the device and taking a peek inside, the website described Samsung’s Galaxy Fold as “alarmingly fragile.”
“The lack of protection and fragility of the main display mean you’ll almost certainly be replacing the screen before long — a pricey repair,” wrote iFixit, a website that frequently tears apart new electronics to provide a detailed view of their components.
When it comes to the protective layer that seems to have been the cause of the screen’s issues for some reviewers, iFixit noted that it’s so tightly adhered to the screen that it’s impossible to remove without breaking the display. That would explain why two reviewers who had removed this polymer layer — Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and the YouTube personality Marques Brownlee — had experienced issues.
And while iFixit does write that the Galaxy Fold’s hinge looks well-designed and durable, it also notes that it lacks “ingress protection,” which could make it possible for dirt and debris to get trapped between the hinge and the display.
When disassembling the Galaxy Fold, iFixit was able to slide the tool it typically uses to open up devices right into a gap located above the screen where the two halves meet. The website said it’d “been a while” since it had seen a phone with that many gaps, given that many phone makers have focused on water and dust resistance in recent years.
The bezels that frame the Galaxy Fold’s display were also very easy to remove, the website said.
“Normally, we overwhelming prefer a light touch when it comes to adhesive,” the report said. “And yet, in this case, we can’t help but worry these bezels may peel over time, exposing the screen to damage.” iFixit was also able to remove the device’s 7.3-inch main screen without administering any heat.
Samsung announced earlier this week that it planned to delay the launch of the Galaxy Fold, which was originally scheduled to arrive Friday. The setback comes after a small number of reviewers found that the display on their test unit had broken after two days of use. Some of these users reported flickering screens that were unusable, while one reviewer noted that a bulge had formed underneath the crease in the display. Samsung is investigating the cause behind the screen issues and has said initial findings linked the problems to impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge.
The company has not yet announced a new launch date or whether it will offer a screen-replacement program for customers.