Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is not off to a good start.
After early Fold review units given to reviewers starting breaking just days after they got them, Samsung has indefinitely delayed the foldable phone’s launch in the U.S. and China.
While we know some reasons why Folds were breaking — dirt somehow got underneath the screen and reviewers accidentally peeled off the display’s screen protector-like film — a comprehensive teardown by iFixit has revealed the nearly $2,000 device has multiple points of failure.
As I’ve said countless times before: foldable phones will be a fad if the companies making them can’t make them durable.
In the case of the Galaxy Fold, it would appear durability is not one of the device’s best traits. iFixit’s teardown of the Galaxy Fold suggests Samsung’s new device is not very repairable — it received a 2/10 repair score — and because there are so many openings all around the device, it’s easy to damage.
“Unlike the dull slabs of glass we’re used to, this smartphone/tablet hybrid has lots of potential entry points—and not the good kind,” states iFixit’s report.
iFixit’s says the 7mm gap right where the Galaxy Fold’s 7.3-inch interior display folds “doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it leaves the display exposed—so should something accidentally enter, it’s curtains for the screen.”
Similarly, the hinge or spine of the Galaxy Fold “is flanked by massive gaps that our opening picks hop right into.”
In addition to the sizable gap when the Galaxy Fold’s folded up, these multiple points for dirt and dust to get in could be one way to explain how dirt got lodged underneath the display of The Verge’s review unit.
It’s still very much the beginning for foldable phones and it’s important to keep our expectations in check because the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are first-generation products — they have flaws and if you’re paying top dollar to be the first to get cutting edge tech, you should be aware of them.
Still, it doesn’t take the sting out of essentially being a beta tester. As cool as the Galaxy Fold and other foldable devices like Huawei’s Mate X are, I’m skeptical if they can ever be made as durable as a non-folding phone.