Samsung Galaxy Fold teardown suggests poor design decisions with 'massive gaps' [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 25
Before Samsung chose to hold back launch for a redesign, the Galaxy Fold was inherently vulnerable to debris reaching the display, according to a new teardown.

Samsung Galaxy Fold teardown


The company was so concerned about making the product foldable that when open, the bezel protecting the screen left a 7-millimeter gap where the two halves met, said repair firm iFixit. If debris slipped through the gap, it could've caused damage.

Likewise, when closed the spine was said to be "flanked by massive gaps" that were less likely to cause immediate damage, but still prone to collecting material.

The findings are roughly consistent with Samsung's own, which pointed to "an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance." The company also admitted that the display could be broken by "impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge."

The Fold was originally scheduled to ship April 26, but pre-launch reviewers complained that their units were suffering corrupt, flickering, or outright missing graphics. Keen to avoid a repeat of the Note 7 battery fire debacle, Samsung decided to postpone release indefinitely until it could deliver a reinforced screen. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

Some reviewers mistakenly peeled back a protective layer thinking it was screen protector. Even before the launch delay, consumer units were set to have explicit warnings on packaging.

The Galaxy Fold is the first foldable smartphone from a major vendor, priced at $1,980. Apple has explored the idea of foldable iPhones in patents, but so far there's been so sign the company will ship anything.

Update: Samsung on Thursday requested iFixit remove its Galaxy Fold teardown.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    No surprise there knowing Samsung and it's legacy of rushing half backed tech to market. If it's good-enough for Samsung than it's good-enough for consumers. Well, that doesn't work when the price is sky high.
    80s_Apple_Guychaickan2itivguyberndogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 34
    They waited until the last moment to pull the device!!?? I bet they have manufactured 10's of thousands of these and are now going to have to destroy or try to repair them.
    They had to know about these issues for a long time inside the company! Yet they sent them out to reviewers anyway and no one inside Samesong said "Stop" we should not ship this crap!

    Just freaking WOW!
    80s_Apple_Guychaickajbdragoncornchipn2itivguyberndogchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Color me completely unsurprised.  This thing has screamed "half baked" (from both a business and tech perspective) from the beginning.
    cornchipn2itivguychasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 34
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,154member
    Minor glitch. They’ll sell like hotcakes. Remember when the iPhone X was released? No one was going to shell out $1K for a phone, the Internet said in unison. Now, $1980.00 for a phone that folds and breaks is considered a desirable bargain because it’s Samsung. Do I really need to end this with /s
    anantksundaramcurtis hannahjbdragoncornchipn2itivguyberndogravnorodomwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 34
    BombdoeBombdoe Posts: 10member
    Some companies have a greater care factor than others. Some companies sweat on the important details more than others. Some companies set a much higher bar for what is acceptable than others. No one is perfect, but some companies make a far greater effort to achieve it than others.
    edited April 24 curtis hannahn2itivguychasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 34
    wood1208 said:
    No surprise there knowing Samsung and it's legacy of rushing half backed tech to market. If it's good-enough for Samsung than it's good-enough for consumers. Well, that doesn't work when the price is sky high.
    It shouldn't work at all regardless of price point. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 34
    chaickachaicka Posts: 120member
    krreagan2 said:
    They waited until the last moment to pull the device!!?? I bet they have manufactured 10's of thousands of these and are now going to have to destroy or try to repair them.
    They had to know about these issues for a long time inside the company! Yet they sent them out to reviewers anyway and no one inside Samesong said "Stop" we should not ship this crap!

    Just freaking WOW!
    If u know how the internal culture is, u won’t be surprised that this happens.
    n2itivguyravnorodomwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 34
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,849member
    The only reason Samsung launched this is to be the first in the market, however their plan has backfired and everyone will remember Samsung as the company that did it wrong.
    jbdragonn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 34
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 916member
    This speaks volumes about how weak Samsung's testing is and their rush to market overwhelms engineering principles.
    n2itivguychasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 34
    "Poor decisions with massive gaps."

    A perfect tagline for thieving companies. I am predicting Huawei and Xiaomi are next.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 34
    The fold idea was interesting but not at that price.

    Samsung makes good TVs.  Samsung is a good parts supplier.

    I’ve said my nice things for the day.

    berndogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,961member
    Joke of a company. More evidence that without Apple to lead the way, these "innovators" struggle. And yet the tech media & pundits like to paint a narrative of Apple struggling to innovate...riiight.
    cornchipravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 34
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 561member
    $2,000 for s phone! My upper limit for a laptop is $2,000. 
    cornchipllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 34
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,737member
    This is a surprisingly large design error. It’s almost positive that engineers did examine this during the design process, and decided that nothing could be done. Management at these Asian companies is very much top down. It’s difficult for engineering, even for engineering management, to stop a process in motion if executive management at the top levels demands that it go on. That’s why the battery problem of several years ago occurred.

    i understand why this design happened. When the screen folds, the fold area needs to be unrestricted. That simply means that nothing can be attached. Even a seal, or gasket, can cause problems. It’s an inherent flaw in this kind of design. They can seal it when it’s entirely closed, however, with a seal around the edges that touches the two solid sides. But when it’s opening, or completely open, they can’t.

    it will be interesting to see if they can come up with some kind of halfway fix, or suffer the embarrassment of having to withdraw the product completely.
    edited April 24 cornchipn2itivguypscooter63MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 34
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 758member
    linkman said:
    This speaks volumes about how weak Samsung's testing is and their rush to market overwhelms engineering principles.
    From what I keep hearing they have been developing this thing for years.... Which I think makes the whole thing even worse?  They didn't slap it together in a year.. they took years to develop and test and it still turned out like this?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 34
    A phone is a powerful tool and the ability for it to fold out to a larger display for more practical use is appealing. I would not mind something like 2 or 3 independent displays that come together with a minimal gap in between the displays. It seems like it would be much more reliable than a piece of plastic that folds and is inherent subject to stress forces over time.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 86member
    This phone was nothing more than a prototype. An ugly one at that.
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 34
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 561member
    A phone is a powerful tool and the ability for it to fold out to a larger display for more practical use is appealing. I would not mind something like 2 or 3 independent displays that come together with a minimal gap in between the displays. It seems like it would be much more reliable than a piece of plastic that folds and is inherent subject to stress forces over time.
    I’d rather have a small phone that projects the screen onto lenses of a nice pair of glasses with transition lenses that can be used as sunglasses than having a folding screen on a big smartphone. 
  • Reply 19 of 34
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 561member
    lkrupp said:
    Minor glitch. They’ll sell like hotcakes. Remember when the iPhone X was released? No one was going to shell out $1K for a phone, the Internet said in unison. Now, $1980.00 for a phone that folds and breaks is considered a desirable bargain because it’s Samsung. Do I really need to end this with /s
    It depends if this was sarcasm or not. I can’t tell. 
  • Reply 20 of 34
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 561member
    The only reason Samsung launched this is to be the first in the market, however their plan has backfired and everyone will remember Samsung as the company that did it wrong.
    If Apple ever releases a magical foldable iPhone, it will surely use a Samsung display. I’m not sure why it is so bad for Samsung to have made concept phones with foldable screens and let tech reviewers critique them. 
    edited April 24
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