FOLLOWING THE NASTY DISCOVERY that the Samsung Galaxy Fold is prone to screen borkage, iFixit has dug into the folding phone's guts to find out why.
The Galaxy Fold was due to be released 26 April, but the South Korean tech giant was this week forced to delay the release for an as-yet-undetermined amount of time; presumably until it figures out why the display on the review units it provided to the tech media - ours must have been got in the post - started breaking.
It's worth noting that a lot of review units were reportedly borked by folks removing a layer that looked like a removable screen protector but was, in fact, part of the display.
But some that left the layer on still had issues with the display. Naturally, this lead to serial gadget pull-aparters at iFixit tearing down the Galaxy Fold.
While it found that the hinge supporting the folding plastic display is robust and looks sturdy enough, iFixit noted that there are too many gaps which could allow OLED-wrecking dust and debris into the screen.
iFixit revealed that there is a 7mm gap between the screen and the phones' front edge at the top and bottom of the centre crease, where the phone folds. It might not seem like a lot, but that gap is pretty much an active invitation for debris to crawl into to the display's innards.
More concerning still is that there are gaps on the back of the phone's main hinge; the Galaxy Fold has two different hinges: one to support the centre and two side hinges to help "absorb any torsion force".
"The spine is flanked by massive gaps that our opening picks hop right into," said iFixit. "These gaps are less likely to cause immediate screen damage but will definitely attract dirt."
There's no hard evidence that dust and debris have been damaging the Galaxy Fold's display, but Samsung hasn't offered any explanation of why the phone review units have been running into display woes.
Even if dust and dirt isn't an immediate problem, iFixit's teardown shows that the gaps in the phone's hinges and display could pose a longer-term problem, as the more it's used, the more likely it is to be exposed to stuff like fingerprint grime, lint and other such debris.
It looks like it might be back to the drawing board for Samsung and its foldable phone, which could arguably pave the way for Huawei and its Mate X to lead the charge on foldable phones. µ
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