Yesterday, a slew of journalists reported significant screen issues with Samsung Galaxy Fold review units.
Samsung has finally released a response.
"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."
As Samsung refers to in the above statement, the most common reason for the screens breaking has been due to the removal of the plastic film the covers the OLED screen. Despite the fact that it looks like a regular screen protector, it isn't. In fact, it is integral to the workability of the device.
The only reason that the Galaxy Fold is able to bend is because of this plastic films - removing it is akin to taking off the glass screen of your smart phone. This is because flexible glass isn't a technology that we have yet so the plastic is needed for the screen to fold.
Reviewers who mistakenly removed the film found that the screen stopped working.
PSA: There's a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's display. It's NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
It was confirmed by multiple news outlets, including The Verge and Android Central that a warning label about the plastic was not included with review units. However, it is understood that retail devices will include a label wrapped around the screen.
Dear future #GalaxyFold owners, I know I always say "No one ever read the instructions"... PLEASE READ THIS ONE!!!
(This is the wrap over the screen of the Galaxy Fold) pic.twitter.com/LuQPRfDZIE
— Des (@askdes) April 17, 2019
But the plastic wasn't the only cause of reviewer problems for the Fold. Hinge bulging and screen issues are among the complaints in articles and on social media. This seems to be what Samsung is referring to in the first part of its statement today.
— Todd Haselton (@robotodd) April 17, 2019
After one day of use... pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
SUPER YIKES: something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge. I don’t know how it happened, and I’m waiting to hear back from Samsung. It’s broken. https://t.co/p1014uB01D pic.twitter.com/3FZJkWtSKr
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) April 17, 2019
Being so early in the timeline of these issues cropping up, this thoroughly non-revealing response was to be expected. Samsung are unlikely to say anything more regarding this potentially being an issue across the range as a whole until the impacted devices have been tested.
In the meantime, it sounds like the company is forging ahead with the release and at the present time there has been no word on whether the screen issues will impact the release date, which is 26th April in the US – just over a week away – and 3rd May in the UK and Europe.
Gizmodo Australia is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.