Well, we’ve finally got the Samsung Galaxy Fold on our teardown table. This is, without question, an ambitious first-generation device—the idea of having both a smartphone and a tablet in your pocket at all times is pretty exciting! That said, a number of early reviewers had some durability issues with their review units, ultimately leading to a launch postponement. Are these temporary setbacks? Or are we headed for a full-blown AirPower-style product cancellation?
The teardown is full of great pics and details, but this little bit goes to the heart of the matter:
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.
To achieve the fold, the thin bezel that surrounds (and protects) the screen leaves a gap where the two halves meet.
This 7 mm gap doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it leaves the display exposed—so should something accidentally enter, it’s curtains for the screen.
When closed, the screen is protected—but the spine is flanked by massive gaps that our opening picks hop right into. These gaps are less likely to cause immediate screen damage, but will definitely attract dirt.
This all feels like Samsung rushing a poorly thought design to market, letting the analysts do the beta testing.
I do think this debacle will, ultimately, prove valuable to Apple or anyone else who goes down this road. A bit of a “how not to do this” design.