Samsung’s folding phone breaking after just days, reviewers say


Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman tweeted that the screen on his unit was unusable after two days.

According to Gurman’s tweets, he removed a plastic layer on the screen, thinking it was just there for protection, and the phone malfunctioned afterwards. The plastic is apparently a polymer that is not supposed to be removed.

YouTuber Marques Brownlee also attempted to remove the plastic, which caused his review device to malfunction.

In a statement issued to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung said it would be ensuring that customers are clearly warned that the plastic is not to be removed.

“The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, whish is part of the display structure”, the statement said, in part. “Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage.”

But some reviewers also reported issues not related to the polymer layer.

Dieter Bohn, executive editor of The Verge, said that a small bulge appeared on the crease of the phone screen.

Bohn believes a small piece of some material might have entered the phone through a gap somewhere and become trapped under the display, distorting it. Eventually the bulge punctured the screen.

Bohn said Samsung replaced his test phone but did not offer a reason for the problem.

Steve Kovach, tech editor at CNBC.com, tweeted a video of half of his phone’s screen flickering after using it for just a day. He also had not attempted to remove the plastic layer.

Samsung’s WSJ statement said the the malfunctioning units are to be examined.

“We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided,” it said. “We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.”

Reporters and commentators had previously wondered about the longevity of the phone’s hinge, and its effect on the screen, given the book-like design of the device. Concerns were strengthened when Samsung was reluctant to let press handle or use the Galaxy Fold at its reveal event.

Despite the phone appearing to fail in three different ways while in use by four different reviewers, it’s too early to tell how widespread the problems will be after launch. Samsung said the US release will go ahead on April 26.

Reuters, with staff reporters

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