Here's why the Galaxy Fold display was inviting you to peel it off

Here's why the Galaxy Fold display was inviting you to peel it off
The most pressing question about the foldable phones from Samsung and Huawei is not their price - we already know it's high - and not the specs, as they are indeed top-shelf at that tag. The most interesting thing is how do they manage to fold the display cover without breaking it. Well, thanks to the #bendgate with the Galaxy Fold preview units sent to YouTubers and assorted "influencers," we already know how Samsung solved this conundrum.

It has allegedly been postponing the launch in order to better train the reps on presenting the device and teaching potential buyers how to use the phone. Like, for instance, not to scrape off the cover film which turned out to be an integral part of the flexible display underneath, slapped on it against scratches, even though it does not completely wrap around and fuse with the panel at the edges, making it look like a screen protector of sorts.

How did Samsung go with a tough film that doesn't completely cover the corners, so it looks like a removable protector? Before the Fold's preview units were distributed, supply chain tips from Korean media hinted that Samsung has collaborated with the Japаnese from Sumitomo Chemical for producing a "luxurious" to the touch transparent polyimide (PI) that can be bent numerous times without any visible differences.

Today, however, Korean media is reporting that it is not only the transparent PI that Samsung used for the first Fold batch, but actually something new and extra that has the competition wanting in on the action. Apparently, Segye, SKC and Samsung SDI, co-developed an extra layer of protection that was then applied to the Galaxy Fold. 

In it, a previously unknown Hard Coat Anti-Fingerprint (HCAF) film by Sekyung sits at the very top of an SKC-made PET layer, to which a Samsung SDI Optically Clear Adhesive (OCA) is applied that then gets fused to said transparent PI film by a company called Biel Crystal. 

Sounds like a pretty complicated structure, and the reason that the top HCAF film that Samsung Display developed from scratch has been mistakenly considered for a "user-removable part" is that for added flexibility it is not tucked under the bezel. Needless to say, the publication says that "it is so tightly bonded that removing the film will require significant physical strength," and that the whole stack is actually the foldable screen package itself, so "removing the film means that the display is damaged to the point where it can not function." 

That much we learned already, as T-Mobile's chief of marketing said they tried the same trick on one of their units and the resistance of the film was strong to the "I shouldn't be doing this" point, so all comparisons with a screen protector are somewhat misleading.

That top HCAF layer is actually what provides the final protection of the Galaxy Fold screen, as it best mimics the oleophobic glass cover we are used to on our phones, rather than if we only had the transparent and flexible but soft PI film. Regardless of the design mishaps that may have led to people damaging their preview Fold units, an industry insider says that many phone makers have expressed interest in the new flexible display package developed by Samsung:


Previously, we thought that the PI film is simply attached to the OLED screen underneath with an extremely durable and flexible adhesive which should allow the package to bend at the middle by stretching a bit but not coming unglued and doing this many times while retaining its original size and form. 

Add to these the new top Hard Coat Anti-Fingerprint layer now, and the foldable display phones' top suddenly becomes a viable alternative to glass covers. If and when Samsung masters the naked screen corners and tiny particles getting underneath the screen through the hinge cracks, that is.

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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10 Comments

1. darkwintercloud

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 04, 2017

Pretty hokie mistake in my opinion to let little holes on the sides of the display. Didnt they thought about debree ingress before? They only wrap their heads on a lab environment for the tests? Thats really ridiculous... Humans will use the phone in an open environment, not robot or engineers...

2. LAgurl

Posts: 75; Member since: Dec 05, 2018

still i aint Dumb enough to peel it off , because samsung had said before not to remove it that their new phones come with a pre installed screen protector , But these stupid azz people go and remove it pisses me off! how can some people be so stupid these days? seriously? and then they go on a rant saying their phone screen messed up ! well its your fault! if samsung said not to remove it its for a reason!

5. dimas

Posts: 3286; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Youtube dramas drive viewership. That's why mkbhd and the rest of krispy team are making small issues look like huge deals.

3. Vyshak75

Posts: 64; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

So it is extremely difficult to peel it off and still some of them did it and blamed Samsung for that. Common sense is not so common after all....

4. dimas

Posts: 3286; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Hcaf layer: how can ass f**king influencers not read the warning before uploading their dramas? Booredatwork and matthew moniz seems to be the only reviewers that paid attention to the guidelines. Mkbhd lost a viewer in me after that whole peeling thing, he's already acting like the newbie youtubers chasing attention.

6. Xxtoxicskittlexx

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

Because they know that if they stir the pot they will get the most "views". You dont think MKBHD knew about the protective cover? He did after covering everything tech. He did that to generate more views and be talked about for a while through a link to his Twitter and YT page. Its genius. You do have to sell your soul when you get to the 1 mil follower level.

7. drunkenjay

Posts: 1645; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

because early review units did not have the warning as explained by most reviewers. they phone later came with a warning.

8. uberzero

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 07, 2018

In the age of information, these reviewers knew about preinstalled screen protector and the units they recieved aren't final product yet.

9. oldskool50

Posts: 711; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Let's just blame Samsung for the stupidity and ignorance of tech reviewers, who are nothing more than self-made opportunists, who actually were the ones who messed up, and they just want to blame it on someone else. And yes the device surely was flawed. But it almost seemed like they did it on purpose. While fools keep claiming it looks like those plastic sleeves OEM's wrap the phone in? It doesn't. Because when you pull a phone out the box, those protective films they put on, always have some type of tab you need to pull to unwrap it. This phone did not have that. Its also not transparent in most cases. It usually opaque. It also covers the whole phone. It wouldn't be just on one side. Sure enough the phone is fragile. But they broke it. Samsung is likely delaying the phone, because they realize they need to try to STUPID-PROOF the phone. But no device will ever be STUPID-PROOF.

10. mootu

Posts: 1408; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

And what about the review units that broke after a couple of days. Those reviewers didnt peel the film and treated the devices well but they still crapped out after 48 hours. Bad design is just that, bad design.

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