Samsung has a PR nightmare on its hands today as multiple reports of its Galaxy Fold phones breaking within days of use have begun to stream in from reviewers.
The $2,000 phone seems to be incredibly delicate—something we all should have guessed when it was first unveiled behind a wall of glass and no reporters were allowed to touch it. But now, media reports online and on Twitter confirm that the device’s impressive folding screen doesn’t actually hold up that well when it’s, you know, folded.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported his phone screen broke after two days of use. He removed a layer of protective film that covered the screen.
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. pic.twitter.com/G0OHj3DQHw— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
Samsung has said the film should not be removed, although it’s unclear if consumers are actually paying attention to the warning. Other reviewers reported similar problems with the screen suddenly becoming unusable once the film was removed.
But plenty of reviewers’ phones have broken with the protective film still intact. Todd Haselton, gadget reviewer at CNBC, said his phone broke after one day of use, and he did not remove the protective film.
“Our screen is now also failing to work properly. When opened, the left side of the flexible display, which makes up a large 7.3-inch screen, flickers consistently,” Haselton reported yesterday.
The Verge’s Dieter Bohn reported that the screen of his unit broke just two days after he got his hands on the phone. “Whatever happened, it certainly wasn’t because I have treated this phone badly,” Bohn wrote, after a piece of debris appeared beneath the screen along the crease line. The bulge appeared to be the cause of the OLED screen breaking.
Many reviewers have shipped their damaged Galaxy Fold phones back to Samsung. The company said it would inspect them each to determine the issue.
“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,” the company said in a statement provided to media.
On Twitter, the issue was quickly dubbed “#Foldgate, and the memes and jokes began to roll in.
Some observers pointed out that the scandal is reminiscent of Samsung's exploding phone fiasco with the Galaxy Note 7.
the pivot is not going as planned pic.twitter.com/Efm7ZOsuPZ— Jeremy Burge 🐥🧿 (@jeremyburge) April 17, 2019
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phones will hit stores April 26, though the company may push that date back in light of the design flaw. After this bumpy introduction, all eyes will be on Huawei’s foldable Mate X phone, which will retail for $2,600 but won’t become available until June.