Samsung has come under criticism for the upcoming flexible Galaxy Fold phone from tech journalists reporting the device breaking after using it for less than a week. The company has responded to the issue, and said it still plans to release the phone next week.
This week, tech journalists began receiving the phone to review, and many of them have been reporting it easily becoming useless after removing a protective layer they were not supposed to.
"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," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported. He later added that he removed the film, and said Samsung does not make it clear to consumers that it should not be.
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
"The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it," Gurman wrote. "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."
YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee reported the film is not a screen protector, adding the display "spazzed and blacked out" after he started to remove it.
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
T-Mobile's Desmond Smith posted a picture of a warning found on the phone warning consumers "Peeling off the protective layer or using any adhesives on the main screen, such as screen protectors or stickers, may cause damage."
However, other journalists reported their Galaxy Folds breaking without removing the film. The left screen on the sample The Verge's Dieter Bohn received began flashing after just two days of use.
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
Samsung later told The Verge it plans to "thoroughly inspect [the review] units in person." The company also said it was aware of the phones breaking after the film is removed.
"A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review," the statement reads. "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."
Samsung continued, "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."
The Galaxy Fold retails for $1,980 and is still scheduled for release in the U.S. on April 26, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Photo credit: Twitter/Mark Gurman