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iFixit today published its teardown of Samsung's Galaxy Fold, offering more details on a potential flaw in the device, which has now been delayed following reports of several broken review units.

Essentially, it looks as though Samsung was so focused on perfecting the folding mechanism on the smartphone/tablet hybrid that it made a major oversight: providing adequate protection against the ingress of debris between the OLED screen and the chassis bezel.

ifixit-galaxy-fold-teardown-800x600.jpeg
To achieve the fold, the thin bezel that surrounds (and protects) the screen leaves a gap where the two halves meet... This 7 mm gap doesn't seem like a huge deal, but it leaves the display exposed--so should something accidentally enter, it's curtains for the screen. (Oops.)

When closed, the screen is protected--but the spine is flanked by massive gaps that our opening picks hop right into. These gaps are less likely to cause immediate screen damage, but will definitely attract dirt.
Many reviewers experienced multiple issues while testing the device, including a random bulge appearing on the display, as well as flickering and failing screens. In many cases, the issues were enough to make the $1,980 device completely unusable.

In a statement, Samsung said its initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. It also said "substances" were found inside the device, which affected the display performance.

As iFixit notes, it will be interesting to see how folding designs manage to overcome these weaknesses in future - if indeed they have a future. Following Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi revealed that they too will launch folding smartphones, and there are signs Apple is looking into the possibility of a foldable iPhone. Apple has filed several patent applications related to folding phones that variously fold inward, outward, and both inward and outward.

galaxy-fold-800x600.jpeg
Potential point of entry for debris ingress (Image: iFixit)

As for the Galaxy Fold, the months ahead look increasingly uncertain. One day after Samsung said it was delaying the launch of the hybrid handset, the company announced that it would be retrieving all Fold devices that were distributed to reviewers.

In an email to pre-order customers about the delayed launch, Samsung said that it will update customers with more specific shipping information in two weeks. "Your pre-order guarantees your place in the queue for this innovative technology," the company promised.

Article Link: iFixit Teardown of Samsung Galaxy Fold Reveals Likely Design Flaw
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Kind of an unacceptable ‘flaw’ from a $2000 tech device. It Makes you wonder how much quality testing was completed on the Fold during the R&D phase. I don’t know that this entirely damages Samsung’s branding, but it doesn’t look good either for what they were calling the ‘future’.
 
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KmanOz

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Oct 27, 2007
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Samsung is so hell bent on being first to the market even so far as to release a product with serious design flaws TWICE. Maybe they should've used the battery from the exploding Note so the Fold could self destruct after a week of use and save everyone some time.
 
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AnthonyHarris

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So debris can fall into that gap and then get trapped between a metal plate and the underside of the screen?

I think the verge and their apparent 'clay' incident is unlikely to have been the cause of that devices demise judging how this is constructed.
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Guess this is what happens when you don't copy iPhone and try at it yourself. I'm sure they'll fix it though, at least they're finally innovating.

I guess the same argument could be made that the iPhone copies Samsung in some aspects, but in this respect, you have to give Samsung due credit for trying something new, even though it is a flawed product, which now it’s their responsibility to make it better moving forward.
 
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Suttree

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Jul 21, 2018
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Hyperbole should not reign over reason. Taking an unbiased look, the Samsung Fold is a work of modern art, surpassing the likes of antiquated vestiges like the Mona Lisa, David, and Othello. Credit where credit is due. No one wants “productivity” or “creativity” on their phones or computers. We want novelty. If it folds, it’s cool. If it has a curved display, it’s cool. People brandish phones and use them to consume content. That’s all. So stop it, Apple. Clips? Music Memos? Siri Shortcuts? Health? Measure? News? No. Just no. You are embarrassing yourself.

It really shows you what kind of company Apple and Samsung are when one focuses on novelty like folding phones and the other focuses on nonsense like TrueDepth.
 
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haruhiko

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Sep 29, 2009
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Samsung created the folding phone because they found that screens can be foldable, not because it can improve user experience. It's a typical case of solution searching for a problem. And the management of Samsung is so desperate to be the first one, ignoring all the potential problems and used the reviewers as Guinea pigs.

But it's a company that released an exploding phone and the only one that is still widely banned by all airlines. What can we expect?
 
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keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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I guess the same argument could be made that the iPhone copies Samsung in some aspects, but in this respect, you have to give Samsung due credit for trying something new, even though it is a flawed product, which now it’s their responsibility to make it better moving forward.

Anybody can try something new and throw products against the wall to see what sticks. It takes more discipline to resist the urge to release something immediately and actually spend time honing the device to perfection.

Samsung shouldn’t be praised for making their consumers beta testers. We all know it’s just so they can have “we did it first” bragging rights if Apple ever release a foldable display device in future.
 
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AnthonyHarris

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Anybody can try something new and throw products against the wall to see what sticks. It takes more discipline to resist the urge to release something immediately and actually spend time honing the device to perfection.

Samsung shouldn’t be praised for making their consumers beta testers. We all know it’s just so they can have “we did it first” bragging rights if Apple ever release a foldable display device in future.

Nobody:

Samsung: HeRe. bUy ThIs fOr $2000. iT wOn'T WoRk AfTeR a DaYs UsE, bUt ItS CoOl.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Samsung created the folding phone because they found that screens can be foldable, not because it can improve user experience. It's a typical case of solution searching for a problem. And the management of Samsung is so desperate to be the first one, ignoring all the potential problems and used the reviewers as Guinea pigs.

But it's a company that released an exploding phone and the only one that is still widely banned by all airlines. What can we expect?

Lots of good points here. The only downside I think what really doesn’t look good for Samsung, is even though some of the major YouTube reviewers were first to have hands-on with these devices, they exploited Samsung in a negative way now that makes this device look horrible due to the flaw. So it kind of backfired on Samsung being that the Fold isn’t really even available yet, and it already has negative feedback before it’s even released.

Samsung called this device the ‘future’, which in some aspects, it _could_ be, but this pushes Samsung further behind given what they wanted to charge for a $2000 folding smart phone.
 
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haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
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Everyone can be the first one to release ****** products that break in a day or two. Some people here really give Samsung a much lower standard. If the same standard is applied to Apple by someone, they have screamed "fanboyz".

Nobody should release unfinished products and use paying customers as beta testers, including Apple. No double standard please.
 
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