The Samsung Galaxy Fold is officially delayed while its maker investigates issues with the screen. Last week, several reviewers revealed displays with bumps, black portions, or non-functioning halves.
Though some of the issues were linked to the removal of a protective film, others weren't. The Verge's Dieter Bohn did not pull off the protector but experienced a bump in the screen, assumedly due to an object entering between the hinge and display.
“While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience,” said the company. “To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold.”
Samsung says it's working to strengthen the protection of the display and improve guidance about the film. To a regular smartphone user, the vital protective layer looks like the optional plastic protectors that come with every phone.
It's unclear when the revised release date will be, but Samsung promises an update in ‘the coming weeks'. If the issue does require hardware changes, we could be looking at late spring or summer release, but it's really impossible to say.
Are Foldables Ready?
Whatever the case, it's not the quality you expect from a $2000 phone. There have been concerns about the durability of foldables from the start, and Samsung has walked headfirst into that criticism.
However, it's worth noting that only a portion of review devices were faulty, fewer if you take away the protective film issue. Many others have Galaxy Folds that have functioned perfectly for thousands of openings.
Still, given the limited number of Folds sent out to reviewers, the rate of failure is a concern. At scale, Samsung could have been looking at hundreds of thousands of dud devices. After the exploding phone debacle, that's obviously not something it could allow to go ahead.
Meanwhile, the future of Huawei's Mate X foldable is unclear. Reports suggest that rumors of a similar delay are unfounded, but its decision to place the screen on the outside is expected to lead to more fragility.