Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- A teardown of the Samsung Galaxy Fold indicates that its main display is fragile, according to iFixit.
- The website notes that the device’s hinge lacks "ingress protection," which could make it possible for dust and debris to get lodged between the hinge and screen.
- The teardown comes after Samsung recently delayed the launch of the Galaxy Fold after the screens on some review units had broken.
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Samsung’s much-anticipated foldable phone has been delayed following reports that the screen on some review units broke after just two days of use. Now, a new teardown from iFixit provides a closer look at the Galaxy Fold’s durability — or lack thereof.
After prying apart the device and taking a peek inside, the website called Samsung’s Galaxy Fold "alarmingly fragile."
"The lack of protection and fragility of the main display mean you’ll almost certainly be replacing the screen before long — a pricey repair," writes iFixit, a website that frequently tears apart new electronics to provide a detailed view of their components.
When it comes to the protective layer that seems to have been the cause of the screen’s issues for some reviewers, iFixit noted that it’s so tightly adhered to the screen that it’s impossible to remove without breaking the display. That would explain why the two reviewers who had removed this polymer layer — Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and YouTube personality Marques Brownlee — had experienced issues.
And while iFixit does write that the Galaxy Fold’s hinge looks well-designed and durable, it also notes that it lacks "ingress protection," which could make it possible for dirt and debris to get trapped between the hinge and display.
When disassembling the Galaxy Fold, iFixit was able to slide the tool they typically use to open up devices right into a gap located above the screen where the two halves meet. The website notes that it’s "been a while" since they’ve seen a phone with that many gaps, given that many phone makers have focused on water and dust resistance in recent years.
The bezels that frame the Galaxy Fold’s display were also very easy to remove, the website says.
"Normally, we overwhelming prefer a light touch when it comes to adhesive," the report says. "And yet, in this case, we can’t help but worry these bezels may peel over time, exposing the screen to damage." iFixit was also able to remove the device’s 7.3-inch main screen without administering any heat.
Samsung announced earlier this week that it plans to delay the launch of the Galaxy Fold, which was originally slated for an April 26 release date. The setback comes after a small number of reviewers found that the display on their test unit had broken after two days of use. Some of these users reported flickering screens that were completely unusable, while one reviewer noted that a bulge had formed underneath the crease in the display. Samsung is investigating the cause behind the screen issues, and said that initial findings linked the problems to impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge.
The company has not yet announced a new launch date or whether it will offer a screen replacement program for customers.
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