The South Korean manufacturer says it is investigating the causes of the problems in its first folding mobile that have been reported by several journalists who have tested it.
Several journalists specialized in media technology such as CNBC, The Verge, Bloomberg and youtuber Marques Brownlee have reported that their Samsung Galaxy Fold units – the first mobile phone of the South Korean manufacturer – have presented problems on the screen with just two days of use . The terminal, whose price is around 2,000 euros, will go on sale in several countries in Europe, including Spain, on May 3, while in the United States and Korea is scheduled to open next week.
The major mobile manufacturers have spent years trying to create smartphones with large screens capable of folding. Royole already markets its flexible FlexPai mobile in China. Huawei has announced its model Huawei Mate X. But Samsung claims to be the first major brand in the world of smartphones to bring its folding terminal to market. Although the commercial premiere may be muddied by the detection of several screen failures reported by journalists who have been able to test the model, which until now jealously guarded the South Korean brand, which had only shown in showcases at the MWC19 in Barcelona.
“We have received some reports on the main screen in the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units to determine the cause of the problem” said the Korean brand in a statement responding to notifications from journalists who have reported the failures.
Three devices have failed the screen. But their cases are completely different. Steve Kovach, technology editor at CNBC, has shared on Twitter a video that shows a constant flicker in the middle of the screen of 7.3 inches. “After a day of use …”, comments the journalist in the tweet.
Dieter Bohn’s Galaxy Fold, from The Verge, has a small bulge in the fold of the screen. The journalist claims to have made normal use of the phone. “I have not used it on a beach or I have shaken it in a bag of chips or anything wild,” he explains in the same medium.
Still, he acknowledges having stuck a piece of clay on the back of the phone to support the terminal in a video session. Something that, he says, does with each device he analyzes: “So maybe a small piece of that slipped into a space on the back of the hinge and then went through his teeth until he stayed between the screen and the hinge. It would be as if Charlie Chaplin were trapped in the gears of Modern Times,” jokes Bohn.
Do not remove the top layer
After one day of use… pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
Some of the professionals selected by the Korean brand to analyze the phone have removed the top layer of the screen. They thought that it was a protector like the one that many manufacturers include in some of its brand new terminals. This is the case of Mark Gurman, editor of Bloomberg, and youtuber of technology Marques Brownlee.
After doing so, the screen has stopped working gradually. Both explain that the device does not include any warning that this plastic should not be removed. “It looked removable in the left corner, so I removed it. I think this contributed to the problem, “says Gurman in a tweet that shows a photo of the protective plastic. However, a T-Mobile employee claims that the device does include a warning on the packaging about the risk of removing this protective sheet.
Samsung, which is reviewing the Galaxy Fold that have failed and has provided new ones to those affected, explains in the statement that you do not have to remove that layer under any circumstances: “The main screen of the Galaxy Fold has a superior protective layer, which forms part of the structure of the screen designed to protect it from inadvertent scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main screen can cause damage. We will make sure that this information is communicated clearly to our customers. ”
We was also able to test the device for about two hours last Tuesday at a media session in London. When closed, it has an external screen of 4.6 inches. When you open it, it’s like a small 7.3-inch tablet. At first glance, it does not give the feeling that the device is fragile or will break. But the failures of the smartphones provided to the three American journalists to make a deeper analysis of the terminal open questions about whether the device is ready to go to market.
The company’s stock closed down 3.1% on the Seoul Stock Exchange, while the KOSPI index, the main one in that market, fell 1.43%.
THE PREVIOUS DISGRACE OF NOTE 7
If confirmed, this would be the first time that Samsung suffers technical problems with one of its terminals. In October 2016, the South Korean manufacturer announced the end of the production and sale of the Galaxy Note 7, then its high-end flagship, as a result of the spontaneous combustions suffered by the batteries of some units of the device.
The company withdrew more than three million Galaxy Note 7 from ten markets when the first complaints came in September 2016 that lithium batteries exploded or caught fire. As a result of the crisis, Samsung recorded a loss of more than 5,000 million dollars, and lost 15,000 million dollars of its value in the stock market.