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TwinIon

Consumer Technology Samsungs Folding Phones Are Breaking After Two Days

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A bunch of tech journalists have been given early copies of the new Samsung Galaxy Fold just as pre-orders open to the public. Early impressions were surprisingly positive, suggesting that perhaps the concept phone was closer to a real product than many had thought. After only a day or two of use though, it seems some of those journalists are having issues.

 

 

 

 

And then there's MKBHD, who just accidentally broke it:

 

Maybe folding screens are still just a bit too futuristic for the present.

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This seems really bad, I get that sometimes problems won't appear until real-world usage, but if it's happening this quickly then how the hell did nobody at Samsung catch this?

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5 minutes ago, Jason said:

This seems really bad, I get that sometimes problems won't appear until real-world usage, but if it's happening this quickly then how the hell did nobody at Samsung catch this?

I’m wondering the same. Did they not internally test the phones for more than 8 consecutive hours? None of their employees or executives took one home for a week to test it out? 

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1 hour ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

I’m wondering the same. Did they not internally test the phones for more than 8 consecutive hours? None of their employees or executives took one home for a week to test it out? 

 

They did mechanical testing, but given the very high cost of the devices and the speed they're being rushed out (likely from fear of competitors getting there first), I imagine they probably didn't do a lot of field testing.

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6 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

They did mechanical testing, but given the very high cost of the devices and the speed they're being rushed out (likely from fear of competitors getting there first), I imagine they probably didn't do a lot of field testing.

 

One thing I'm seeing is that there's some kind of film on the screen that you absolutely should not remove, which isn't really made clear, and that the film seems like the sort of in-box film people have been conditioned to remove upon unboxing a phone.

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3 hours ago, Jason said:

 

One thing I'm seeing is that there's some kind of film on the screen that you absolutely should not remove, which isn't really made clear, and that the film seems like the sort of in-box film people have been conditioned to remove upon unboxing a phone.

 

 

 

I think this is more about reviewers thinking they don't have to read the manual.

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3 hours ago, Jason said:

One thing I'm seeing is that there's some kind of film on the screen that you absolutely should not remove, which isn't really made clear, and that the film seems like the sort of in-box film people have been conditioned to remove upon unboxing a phone.

20 minutes ago, Ghost_MH said:

I think this is more about reviewers thinking they don't have to read the manual.

Apparently that was not on the review units sent out.

 

A couple of the issues are absolutely about reviewers removing something they shouldn't have, but a few of them are other failures. I'd argue that a well made screen shouldn't have a layer you could easily peel off. I certainly haven't run into one since capacitive screens became the norm. Even still, the failure rate among these review units seems absurdly high.

 

I'm personally still very excited about folding screens (I think the Mate X looks amazing), but this isn't a great debut from the world's largest phone maker. I personally prefer Samsung's high end hardware to Apple's, but it's things like this that diminish their standing. Apple has had their own set of hardware issues lately, but nothing quite as bad as this appears to be.

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40 minutes ago, Ghost_MH said:

 

 

 

I think this is more about reviewers thinking they don't have to read the manual.

 

Is it on the front or the back of the phone? 

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15 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

Apparently that was not on the review units sent out.

 

A couple of the issues are absolutely about reviewers removing something they shouldn't have, but a few of them are other failures. I'd argue that a well made screen shouldn't have a layer you could easily peel off. I certainly haven't run into one since capacitive screens became the norm. Even still, the failure rate among these review units seems absurdly high.

 

I'm personally still very excited about folding screens (I think the Mate X looks amazing), but this isn't a great debut from the world's largest phone maker. I personally prefer Samsung's high end hardware to Apple's, but it's things like this that diminish their standing. Apple has had their own set of hardware issues lately, but nothing quite as bad as this appears to be.

 

Yeah, this one seems like a maybe should have been real world tested. I get that it's harder to real world test. Other phones can have cases to hide their identities, but a folding phone would stick it no matter where it is. Still, it's a form factor that really ought to have been real world tested. Samsung seems to have opted to beta test with consumer's dollars. It's a pain, but as long as they have a good replacement program in place, it should be fine...ish. this design always seemed sketchy. Huawei's design just seems a better choice, but it could also wind up being scratching a lot easier.

 

7 minutes ago, Jason said:

 

Is it on the front or the back of the phone? 

 

Looking into it, sounds like some reviewers are complaining their phones didn't ship with the warning, but it sounds like the phone ships open with the warning on the front of the cellophane wrapping. Either that, or it's only on retail units have the warning and review units don't. Either that, or it was there and nobody even remember seeing it. I've got nothing.

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21 minutes ago, Ghost_MH said:

Samsung seems to have opted to beta test with consumer's dollars.

 

Something like this seems more like alpha testing though. 

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22 minutes ago, Ghost_MH said:

Either that, or it was there and nobody even remember seeing it.

 

Like I said, people have been conditioned to expect to have to peel off a film upon unboxing, it wouldn't shock me if people were just going on autopilot. 

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Can you really trust a phone with a film like that though? Seems like with repeated use and using the phone in mixed conditions (hot/cold/humid environments) the film might come loose and peel eventually. 

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ha.

 

haha.

 

hahaha.

 

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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12 hours ago, DarkStar189 said:

Can you really trust a phone with a film like that though? Seems like with repeated use and using the phone in mixed conditions (hot/cold/humid environments) the film might come loose and peel eventually. 

Yeah, I don't really care what kind of warning comes with the device, I don't want a screen where you can just peel off the top layer, certainly not on a $2000 device.

 

Apparently Corning (maker of gorilla glass) is close to being able to make foldable glass screens real. It looks like it requires a radius larger than what the Galaxy Fold provides, but it might work on something like the Mate X.

 

Regardless of the solution, I think I'll be sticking with my non-folding phone for the time being.

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The Verge published their review. Dieter is much more positive about the device than I expected. Without the hardware failures and the "not ready for primetime" software, he seems to like the form factor more than I would have expected. Once folding phones reach an Apple (or recent Galaxy S) level of polish, these are going to be amazing devices.

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On 4/18/2019 at 11:50 AM, ort said:

This is a cool concept, but basically a prototype they are charging money for.

Pretty much, I don't think the world is quite ready for such a device just yet, the technology just isn't mature yet.

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It seems like a bad move for them. Whatever positive buzz they generate by being first to market with something will be instantly obliterated times 10 when it's proven to be so problematic.

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32 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

Samsung has changed their minds and delayed the Galaxy Fold. They announced they'd be pushing forward with the launch after the reviews came out, but it seems they “will take measures to strengthen the display protection.”

 

In the comments on the Ars article about this, someone pointed out that pretty much all the phones have to have already been produced if they were aiming for an April 26 launch, thus making it unclear on what exactly they can do to fix the problem.

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16 minutes ago, Jason said:

In the comments on the Ars article about this, someone pointed out that pretty much all the phones have to have already been produced if they were aiming for an April 26 launch, thus making it unclear on what exactly they can do to fix the problem.

 

If the biggest issue is people peeling off that protective layer, they could change the packaging to blast you in the face with warnings. If there's a manufacturing issue that's leading to more failures than what Samsung found during testing, that's a very different and expensive issue. They could also opt to ignore that problem and just put them in people's hands with a very generous replacement warranty.

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