The iFixit team has subjected the Samsung Galaxy Fold to its teardown, finding the device to be "overwhelmingly fragile."
This breakdown delves into why the South Korean brand's first foldable phone is innovative but full of issues.
iFixit's Galaxy Fold Teardown
Based on iFixit's teardown, the main problem lies in the hinge. That's not to say it isn't durable, though. According to Samsung, the phone is designed to be folded about 200,000 times before any possible issues turn up. However, it doesn't have any sort of ingress protection.
"One thing we didn't find was any hinge ingress protection — those large gaps around the spine let dirt right in, possibly getting trapped between hinge and display," the team said.
Among the Galaxy Fold devices that broke in the hands of tech reviewers and influencers, only one accumulated debris under the crease, eventually developed a bulge, and then ruined the display. It was The Verge's Dieter Bohn who reported this, and iFixit's findings could be the explanation why.
For the record, most review units broke because their polymer coating was peeled off, which look like ordinary screen protectors but are, in fact, essential to the screen's overall integrity and functionality.
According to iFixit, the device was easy to open and most of the components are modular and easily replaceable, but at the end of it all, it's still "alarmingly fragile," scoring a paltry 2 out of 10 in its repairability scale.
Galaxy Fold Issues
After seeding the review units to select individuals, the smartphone maker faced a series of issues. As mentioned earlier, the screens got broken after reviewers removed the polymer coating. In their defense, there wasn't any clear labels that warned against doing it. Some had it worse, as their units broke even without peeling off the plastic film, such as in Bohn's case.
Soon enough, Samsung canceled launch events of the device here and there, and this then led to a delayed launch, which AT&T says is rescheduled to June 13. Now the company is recalling all the devices in the wild for investigation. At that, it's interesting how iFixit got its hands on a Galaxy Fold, but that's not the important point here.