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Some early Galaxy Fold smartphones are suffering from display issues

Galaxy Fold

It was bound to happen.

Some early Galaxy Fold smartphones are experiencing display issues, according to recent tweets from various technology journalists and YouTubers.

While some of the problems, with The Verge’s Dieter Bohn (@backlon) being the most notable example, seem to stem from the Fold’s display just outright being faulty, others involve what looks like a screen protector being removed from the Fold’s inner 7.3-inch AMOLED polymer display.

Bohn says there was a slight bulge in his review unit Fold’s display that eventually evolved into a full puncture through the screen.

CNBC tech editor Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) also experienced similar problems with the Galaxy Fold’s display.

Other issues seem to be the result of removing what at first looks like a screen protector attached to the screen.

Bloomberg technology reporter Mark Gurman (@markgurman) and YouTuber Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) both removed what they assumed was a screen protector from the Galaxy Fold, only to find out that it is actually some sort of protective layer holding the screen together.

A notification on the Fold’s packaging reads as follows:

“Attention: The Main screen includes a special protective layer. Peeling off the protective layer or using any adhesives on the main screen such as screen protectors or stickers may cause damage.”

Considering this warning is arguably easy to miss, there should have been a pop-up notification on the phone when you first turn it on, as well as a large red, physical note in the phone’s box indicating you should never remove the protective layer.

We’ve reached out to Samsung for more information regarding the Fold’s display and screen protective layer issues. Samsung claims that the Galaxy Fold’s display is capable of being folded 200,000 times before it will begin to experience issues. In a way, the Fold’s display issues are reminiscent of the Note 5’s S Pen slot problems and to an extent, even the disaster the Note 7 evolved into.

As someone who typically puts a screen protector on all their devices anyways, I didn’t even consider removing the Fold’s thin plastic layer. I’d even say that you have to look quite hard at the screen to even notice it’s there.

For what it’s worth I’ve had the Galaxy Fold since Monday and haven’t experienced any issues with the phone’s foldable display. That’s not to say that I won’t eventually, but they haven’t appeared yet. The hinge, though slightly looser than when I first got the phone, seems to be holding up to my constant folding and unfolding of the display.

I do question how it will handle debris stuck between the two sides of the display when it’s closed, but so far there aren’t even any scratches on the screen.

Samsung says the Galaxy Fold is coming to Canada in “summer 2019.” It’s unclear what carriers will sell the phone, but the South Korean manufacturer has confirmed to MobileSyrup that the foldable phone will be sold through partners as well as directly from its retail channels. We also don’t know how much the Fold will cost in Canada, with estimates falling in the $2600 CAD ($1,980 USD) range.

Update 04/22/2019 1:39pm: Samsung has confirmed earlier reports stating that the South Korean tech giant plans to delay the U.S. release of the Galaxy Fold. Further, though it initially looked like those that removed the protective display layer ignored the written warning on the Fold’s packaging, it seems that isn’t the case. Many Fold review units did not feature the warning on their packing.

Update 04/17/2019 10:32pm: Samsung has released the following statement regarding the Galaxy Fold:

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.”

Update 04/17/2019 3:04pm: This story has been updated with more information about the Fold’s ‘Protective Layer’ notification.

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