Here is the story of how the Samsung Galaxy Fold went from being the world’s first mass-produced foldable smartphone, to being delayed indefinitely… and the fix Samsung came up with!
Samsung Galaxy Fold – From Sneak Peek To Launch Delay
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a foldable display. It would not only debut earlier than the HUAWEI Mate X foldable smartphone, it would also be cheaper.
Before Samsung released it for sale worldwide, they gave a few lucky celebrities a sneak peek of it through First Fold: Samsung Galaxy Fold Celebrity Unboxing!
They also gave out a few units to reviewers, but that didn’t turn out so well.
A few tore off the plastic film covering the display, which turned out to be essential to its function.
At least one reviewer reported his display started bulging for no reason. There were also reports of debris getting under the display.
Although some reviewers have no issues with their Galaxy Fold samples, the situation was optically toxic, and Samsung had to officially announce a launch delay while they regroup, and analyse what went wrong with the review samples.
Recommended : The Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide For First Time Users!
Is The Galaxy Fold Folding Design At Fault?
Yes, but not for the reason most people think of.
Which Folding Method Is Better?
Unlike the HUAWEI Mate X, the Galaxy Fold’s display folds inwards. Pundits criticised this design choice for putting more stress on the display, and requiring a second, smaller front display – both of which the HUAWEI Mate X avoids.
However, their design has a major advantage – it actually protects the delicate OLED display from damage when folded.
The foldable display is, by necessity, covered with plastic instead of glass. This means it is much more vulnerable to scratches and blunt force.
By folding the display inwards, the Galaxy Fold helps to protect the delicate display. The HUAWEI Mate X, conversely, has its foldable display on the outside, exposing it to much greater risks of bering damaged.
The Plastic Film
The notorious plastic film that some reviewers thought was just a screen protector is actually a critical component of the display.
It is, literally, the plastic replacement for what was traditionally a tough protective glass layer (e.g. Gorilla Glass).
This plastic layer is the only thing that protects the delicate OLED panel from damage. Removing it will damage the display, or soon render it inoperative.
Sticker + Guide
Samsung said that retail Galaxy Fold units will come with a warning sticker that reminds users not to peel off the plastic film.
They will also be including a guide to teach users how to properly use the foldable display.
A Potential Galaxy Fold Fix?
We recommended a potential fix for Samsung to consider, that would have maintained the current design, and yet offer greater protection to the display.
They need the protective layer to be thin and flexible, because it must fold together with the display panel. Glass currently cannot accomplish this feat.
However, Samsung can consider applying a tough glass cover on most of the foldable display, leaving only the plastic film along the middle seam. This would offer the display greatly improved protection, while still allowing it to fold.
Recommended : The Samsung Galaxy Fold Foldable Smartphone Preview!
The Final Samsung Galaxy Fold Fix
After 4.5 months of re-engineering the Galaxy Fold display, Samsung came up with this fix :
The top protective layer of the Infinity Flex Display has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed.
Galaxy Fold features additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience.
The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps.
Additional metal layers underneath the Infinity Flex Display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display.
The space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.
Samsung also introduced a new Galaxy Fold Premier Service, which gives you exclusive access to specialised customer care :
- one-to-one access to Samsung experts,
- access to a 24/7 support hub online or over the phone
We presume that the one-to-one session will be made somewhat mandatory, so that Samsung experts can teach users how to use and maintain the Infinity Flex display.
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