Galaxy Fold breaking - did influencers screw up, or Samsung?

Galaxy Fold breaking - did influencers screw up, or Samsung?
There are two ways to skin a cat, or, in our case, to peel off the polyimide film that serves as a cover glass on Samsung's revolutionary Galaxy Fold handset. We've written numerous times before the Fold was announced that it will come with a transparent polyimide that can be bent numerous times without any visible differences, developed by the Japanese from Sumitomo Chemical. 

Kolon's flexible PI cover is something you shouldn't be trying to peel off the bendy RAZR when it comes, either

Kolon's flexible PI cover is something you shouldn't be trying to peel off the bendy RAZR when it comes, either

This is one of the reasons why the Fold has limited production runs and all the units on pre-order were gone the other day. The problems stem from the complexity of assembly, of course, given that the phone folds in half around a mid-screen fault line, but also from the sourcing of the specific components needed for said bending action. Chief among those are the crazy hinge mechanism, the cover polyimide (PI), as well as the special film type adhesive that Samsung has been developing for years. That in-house Optically Clear Adhesive (OCA) can stretch and shrink numerous times without unglueing the screen part or forming bulges. In the lab, at least, as loaner units for reviewers already showed dust getting underneath the film even if they didn't try to peel the cover film.

Sumitomo was allegedly chosen before the home production of the Koreans from Kolon because of the "luxurious" to the touch feeling similar to cover glass. Kolon, however, supplied the flexible cover for the first foldable device announced, Royole's FlexPai, and will reportedly rise from the ashes of Samsung's neglect by equipping Motorola's upcoming flexible RAZR. Motorola is said to aim for about 200,000 RAZR phones in total which is a decent batch, and Kolon says they are "currently supplying transparent PI samples to global display companies. However, it is difficult to confirm whether our products were used for certain devices."

Thus, we don't know if the Mate X cover is made by Kolon, Sumitomo or a third company, but the crux of the matter is that these PI films on bendable phones are a brand new phenomenon, and do not form a rigid package together with the flexible display with plastic substrate underneath as they do on, say, the Galaxy S10. 

This is precisely why Samsung wrote a warning not to try and remove or add anything from/to the Galaxy Fold display, and it is written right on the protective nylon that comes with a new Fold in the box. 

T-Mobile's Des posted this and said that it is 'maybe I shouldn't be doing this' level hard to peel off the polyimide display cover of the Galaxy Fold, but they still did it anyway

T-Mobile's Des posted this and said that it is 'maybe I shouldn't be doing this' level hard to peel off the polyimide display cover of the Galaxy Fold, but they still did it anyway


It's not in the manual (who reads those, right), not somewhere on the box - it's right there on the screen, but, unfortunately, not on most of the review loaners Samsung sent out. And since a lot of YouTubers and influencers are famous because they are famous, and don't really dive very deep in reading about how and why something was made instead of sliding on the surface of feelings and shock thumbnails, they had no idea that this is the "cover glass" of foldable phones they were trying to peel off, not a screen protector

If they had read up on the craft of producing foldable phones beforehand, as tech reviewers should have, they would have known about PI films, adhesives, and other details Samsung probably didn't feel it needs to warn them about for that same reason. 


On the other hand, that doesn't explain loaner Fold units that developed various big and small issues without trying to peel the screen off. This is why we wanted to ask you what do you think about this potential #foldgate - it it a case of RTFM (read the effing manual), a brewing Samsung slip that may be up there with the Note 7 drama, or is it too early to tell. Take your pick, and tell us your reasoning in the comments.

Galaxy Fold's #displaygate - RTFM or a Samsung mishap?

RTFM
34.11%
Samsung mishap
24.63%
Too early to tell
41.26%

Related phones

Galaxy Fold
  • Display 7.3" 1536 x 2152 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 4380 mAh(32h talk time)

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35 Comments

1. drunkenjay

Posts: 1647; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

i feel like most of the displays issues are caused by trying to take out the protective later which causes the screen to slightly lift causing damages tot he display.

2. MartinR

Posts: 65; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

And nobody thinks: Hey this display is less than a mm thick, ok let us just remove this layer... Come on so-called tech journalists you should have known better!

8. TBomb

Posts: 1205; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I want to change my answer from "too soon" to "RTFM" because of this comment. These guys are supposed to be the experts... the best in the world, yet we take their word without them reading the manual? thanks for the argument :D

21. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Well they aren't real tech people. They are Youtubers who are trying to make a fast buck, telling everyone BS and lies and being biased fanboys on a mission.

32. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Agreed. If these people are going to flap their lips and tell us that they know a product category they better back it up.

3. Guseinguliev

Posts: 93; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

The main thing is not exploded, and the rest is garbage guarantee there is.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Hmmm Google can't translate this...

35. Youngquenga41

Posts: 63; Member since: Apr 03, 2017

5 people like this mumbo jumbo sh*t you wrote? O lord what is the world coming to.

4. frequency

Posts: 102; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

Sammy always throw its garbage premature techs to the market. And Sammy fans hate other people on this web complains anything about Sammy. I hardly hear any major issue from Apple and Huawei. So plz dont use sufh term "innovation" and “creation"to cover its failure. Microsoft, Apple and huawei won't put any immature technology to their customers. Shame on Sammy and Sammy fans.

15. Diego!

Posts: 860; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

iPhone 4 and AirPower wireless charger do sound familiar to you?

22. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Really? So why did Apple shove a modem into the latest iPhone's that they knew didn't work? Explain the iPhone 4? Explain the iPhone 6 bending? Explain the iPad Air bending like foil paper? Explain how you can say Apple doesn't sell faulty products, when all of them have had faults. In fact Apple leads the whole mobile industry with faulty hardware. But you claim you never heard of such? trump and ifans have one thing in common, other than being blind to facts. They are all pathological liars!

23. frequency

Posts: 102; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

read my post carefully, because i tried my best to use the right word. Did you see i typed "major issue". Sammy's major issues like battery explosion, now broken screen. These type of failure come from Korean nationality. They are always rushing to put immature technology to grab money from customers. To me, this type of business people treatthemselves like gamblers. I have no respect to them.

31. uberzero

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 07, 2018

Battery explosion affected all devices. If you refer to the Note 7, it is very interesting the case affected mainly 10 of them in North America market but not the rest of the world. The fact that Samsung recalled all them, apologized and provide free Galaxy S7 to their customers only show them respect. The recent case of broken screen on a pre-production Galaxy Fold turned out mostly to the users themselves i.e. reviewers failing to read the manual and failing to mention the reviewed device is still in final phase of production.

5. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1521; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Personally I think Samsung put way too much time and money into these displays to have a simple mishap. This is literally stupid people messing with things they know nothing of. Numerous youtubers I've seen love to talk about tech yet it's clear they know little about it.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

The warning wasn't clearly labeled on the free units sent to reviewers. Sounds like the retail units have the warning but it's in Samsung's best interests to amplify the messaging somehow. Solid device with a lot of positive reviews but if the duarbility isn't there it's DOA.

33. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

They should have made the film cover go into the device chassis so stupid people can't remove it.

9. irwan92

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 12, 2013

Its my fault because i can't afford to buy this one

10. kakudiego

Posts: 123; Member since: May 21, 2014

basic the case is: dont be stupid

11. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

I will just wait for apple to perfect this kind of display.

18. Charlie2k

Posts: 112; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Like how they perfected the laptop keyboard, which everyone hate now?

12. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

This phone is going down as one of the biggest flop in smartphone history.

34. ando125

Posts: 16; Member since: Apr 06, 2017

Let's see if Huawei's Mate X can amend this issue, if it doesn't then foldable devices are put on hold till the OEM finds the right tech for the folding devices with the next decade.

13. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

These YouTuber thumbnails though. They take these thumbnail pictures looking like they’re begging for a hotdog to be shoved down their throats.

28. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Unbox therapy started it with the facepalm and the rest of youtubers turned kindergarten kids on their thumbnails.

14. Georgio

Posts: 194; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

It's Samsung fault! They should've told them not to take the screen protection thing off.

26. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Read the article? There's a warning mentioned.

27. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Read the article? There's a warning mentioned. Reviewers are just too hasty to make a big deal of something they were warned with.

16. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1238; Member since: May 01, 2017

Samsung are like the people who say "first" in the comments

17. libra89

Posts: 2259; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It is too soon to tell but at the same time, I'm not surprised because there are some tech reviewers who are SO quick to just remove the screen protector if there is one without thinking twice.

19. Vyshak75

Posts: 64; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

I think it's just those reviewers trying to play with the new gadget and they got f****d up. They should have known better...

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