When Samsung announced, in November of 2018, that they’d be bringing a foldable smartphone to market, tech blogs were abuzz. Could they do it quickly? Could they do it for less than a king’s ransom? Could they do it well? And when LG and Huawei announced similar plans for foldable smartphones, the pressure was even more on. Which could possibly explain why the answers to those questions seem to be: yes, not really, and no. Because the Samsung Galaxy Fold has been out for review for mere days — and is already breaking.
The phone’s concept is simple enough: combine a tablet and a phone into one piece of technology. And the specs were drool-worthy. Per The Verge: “a new 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display that allows the phone itself to have a tablet-sized screen that can be folded to fit into a pocket. The main display is QXGA+ resolution (4.2:3), and when it’s folded, a smaller 4.6-inch HD+ (12:9) display is used for the phone mode.” To say nothing of the 512 GB of storage, the powerful 7nm octa-core processor, 12 GB of RAM, and two — count ’em, two — batteries. If this worked, it could have been a game-changer.
But the game might just remain the same for a while. The Korean tech behemoth sent Folds to reviewers in anticipation of the phone’s April 26 launch, and, uh, it’s not doing so well. According to no fewer than three reviews — from The Verge, CNBC, and Bloomberg — the tablet screens quickly stopping working after only a few hours or days of usage.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman tweeted a photo of his review phone and wrote, “The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not.”
There are also reports of the tablet screen flickering, and even a “bulge” sticking out of the tablet at the crease where it folds — which eventually broke through the screen, destroying it.
That said, all hope is not lost. Washington Post‘s Geoffrey Fowler decided to fold and unfold his phone 100 times in a row to test the screen and said he found no problems.
And Digital Trends said the phone is “awesome” in a brief review video. So, do with that information what you will, early adopters.
The Fold starts at $1,980.