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Samsung Galaxy Fold: Everything you need to know


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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

This year, the mobile tech community is readying itself for a massive influx of folding smartphones, and the first major release will be the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The unusual folding smartphone is packed with the latest tech, including the most powerful new 7nm processors, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. But it’s the design that’ll really blow you away, and you probably won’t forget the first time you unfold the stunning 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED display.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was due to launch on April 25, but Samsung has delayed it until “at least next month” after reports of issues with the screen. What we do know is who’ll be carrying it and for how much. Samsung’s first foldable smartphone has almost found its way to consumer hands, and we couldn’t be more excited. Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Updates

iFixit removes its Galaxy Fold teardown

Only a few days after iFixit’s teardown of the Samsung Galaxy Fold revealed possible reasons for the device’s faults, iFixit has pulled the teardown and issued a statement. iFixit explained that the Galaxy Fold unit that it obtained was from a “trusted partner,” and that Samsung had requested through the partner that the video be removed.

“We are under no obligation to remove our analysis, legal or otherwise. But out of respect for this partner, whom we consider an ally in making devices more repairable, we are choosing to withdraw our story until we can purchase a Galaxy Fold at retail,” iFixit said.

Of course, the damage of the teardown has already been done — iFixit already revealed some of the reasons why the Galaxy Fold’s display may have failed.

iFixit’s teardown of the Galaxy Fold reveals the possible reason for the display faults

Samsung may be calling all the Galaxy Fold units back, but that hasn’t stopped iFixit from doing its traditional teardown of Samsung’s latest device. The Galaxy Fold scored a paltry 2 out of 10 on iFixIt’s repairability scale, putting it on par with Apple’s latest iPad Air. However, the teardown may also have discovered the source of the device’s many reported display problems.

You don’t have to go far into the teardown to see where the design may have gone wrong. At step three, iFixit took a close look at the device’s fold from the front, and noted a small gap in the device’s bezel, near the bend. As bezels would interfere in the bend, this area has to stay uncovered — but it means there’s a tiny 7mm gap in the protective bezels that could allow entry to dirt or other small particles. It’s entirely possible this sort of particle could lead to the sort of problems that led to the recall of the review units.

If this is the source of the issues — which is likely — then solving the problem could be as easy as plugging up the gap. But that could be easier said than done, as the material would need to be flexible enough to support the bend, while being tough enough to withstand the repeat stress of those same bends.

Samsung is retrieving all Galaxy Fold units

Not only has Samsung announced that it is delaying the launch of the Galaxy Fold, but it also asking reviewers to send back their review units. Most reviewers of the Galaxy Fold actually signed loan agreements, meaning that after a week of use, most reviewers would have had to send their Galaxy Fold back to Samsung anyway. However, while Samsung may have originally repurposed those review units and sent them to other reviewers, the company will likely now completely take them out of commission. According to Reuters, Samsung will investigate what happened with the units currently being reviewed in an attempt to fix the issues before it eventually launches the phone.

Samsung delays the Galaxy Fold

Samsung has officially announced the delay of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. After a number of reviewers ran into issues with the Galaxy Fold’s display, Samsung said it would investigate the issues but would keep the release date of the phone. Now, the company seems to have changed its tune. In an emailed statement, Samsung said that to “fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the phone will be released in coming weeks — just that the new release date will be announced in coming weeks. It’s possible Samsung could end up delaying the phone for months, especially considering the fact that there seem to be multiple issues at play. Our own review unit has been working without any problems.

“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. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance,” Samsung said in a statement. “We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.”

Samsung clearly doesn’t want to take the risk of releasing a product with a major flaw and the memory of the Note 7 recall is no doubt playing a part. Launch events have been postponed and it looks as though everyone clamoring to get their hands on a Galaxy Fold will have to wait just a bit longer. We’ll keep you posted.

Samsung responds to Galaxy Fold display issues

Following reports of a glut of broken Galaxy Fold screens, a Samsung spokesperson contacted us with the following statement:

“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.”

It’s important to note that the Galaxy Fold is at the forefront of a new era in mobile technology, so these sorts of snafus are to be expected. It’s interesting that Samsung’s statement specifically warns against the use of adhesive on the Galaxy Fold’s screen though, as that would preclude the use of screen protectors to protect against external damage.

Some Galaxy Fold displays are breaking days after shipping

It looks like Samsung’s stress test of the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s display may not have been as comprehensive as it should have been. Some reviewers, who were the first to get their hands on the Samsung Galaxy Fold, have complained that their phone’s display has either completely broken or is partially damaged after just days of use.

CNBC, for example, says that its review unit is completely unusable with all but a portion of the display still working. The Verge’s unit is also damaged, with a small bulge that’s causing the display to distort. YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee removed the film on his phone to find that the display had broken. Samsung has warned users not to remove the protective layer of the phone, which may look like a basic screen protector. Still, CNBC says that it didn’t remove anything from the screen.

For the record, our review unit is still perfectly functional, but we’ll update this article if that changes.

We recently got our hands on the Galaxy Fold. Check out the photos below

You can now pre-order the Galaxy Fold from AT&T as well as Samsung

Samsung had a head-start, as you might expect — but you can now pre-order from AT&T as well. AT&T is planning to have pre-orders arrive on April 25, and it’ll cost you a heady $66 a month for 30 months — which makes sense when you consider the full asking price for the device is $1,980.

Pre-order reservations open on Samsung’s website

This is not the usual way of pre-ordering a phone, but you’ll have to play ball if you want to be one of the first owners of the Galaxy Fold. Pre-order reservations are now open from Samsung, and you’ll need to make sure your name is on the list to be in with a chance of pre-ordering Samsung’s exclusive device. Numbers are limited, and it’s not clear whether the positions will go to the fastest fingers to the button, or whether they’ll be selected based on some other criteria.

Some more details have come to light as a result of the pre-order reservation form though; namely, we now know the Galaxy Fold will be coming exclusively to both T-Mobile and AT&T, confirming the rumors below.

Rough Galaxy Fold hands-on video hints phone is destined for AT&T

Screens destined for the Galaxy Fold have started shipping from Samsung’s factory, ready to make the device a reality. The company revealed the news on April 10, but did not share any details on production numbers.