The Samsung Galaxy Fold is supposed to represent the future, the future of smartphones and tablets to be precise. But just two days after Samsung begun handing out review units in the US, multiple journalists have begun experiencing severe problems with the display.
Not one, not two, but FOUR reports of issues!
The first to report a problem
was Dieter Bohn of The Verge
. Like many others he received his Galaxy Fold unit on Monday, but by yesterday evening the Galaxy Fold’s display already presented a tiny, mysterious bulge that sat along the crease in the middle.
It’s unclear how this bulge developed – it could be a bit of debris or a defective hinge that is poking into the display – but by this morning it had result in both a vertical and horizontal line of dead pixels along the OLED panel.
Shortly after Bohn’s admission, CNBC
’s Steve Kovach took to Twitter
to showcase similar problems. However, in this particular case a thick strip of pixels directly above the crease have permanently blacked out. The left side of the Galaxy Fold’s display also flickers constantly, essentially making the larger display unusable.
In addition to these two reports, Mark Gurman who writes for Bloomberg
also spoke about
some even bigger issues. In his case, the pixels on the Samsung Galaxy Fold's display have been gradually turning black. Last night, for example, just over half of the display was unusable, but currently only a small area of the panel along the right side continues to work.
On a related note, Gurman noted that tapping the screen with his the tip of his finger leaves a permanent indent which is caused by his fingernail coming in contact with the display.
Lastly, popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) reported
his own set of issues. In this case, Brownlee proceeded to remove the Galaxy Fold's polymer layer, which at first glance looks like a regular screen protector
, but shortly into the process the entire display turned black and stopped working.
What's causing this severe issue?
Samsung is yet to comment on the matter officially – we have contacted the company but are yet to receive a response – so at this point the cause of the problem remains purely speculation. However, the separate reports do suggest it may have something to do with the Galaxy Fold's polymer layer on top of the display.
The South Korean giant itself says the polymer layer shouldn't be removed, but from the look of things reviewers didn't see the warning on the Galaxy Fold's plastic wrap. Mark Gurman, for example, managed to remove the entire thing without a hitch, but later experienced severe problems with the panel. Marques Brownlee, on the other hand, experienced problems as soon as he started to peel off the layer.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Verge and CNBC have revealed that they didn't remove the exterior layer, nor did they attempt to. Nevertheless they still experienced some pretty big problems, so perhaps some debris got caught beneath the layer – that would explain the bulge seen on The Verge's unit.
In terms of what will happen moving forward, Samsung could choose to delay the Galaxy Fold by an undetermined number of months in order to iron out any issues. Alternatively, it could either scrap the model entirely or move forward as if the issue doesn't exist. But in the meantime, all of these reviewers have either received or will soon receive replacement units.
UPDATE: We have received the following statement from Samsung regarding the Galaxy Fold's display issues.
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.
Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.