Samsung’s nearly $2,000 Galaxy Fold could still be one of the most creative devices to come to market in recent years. Right now, though, it looks like the phone flapped its folding wings too close to the sun.
Originally slated to hit stores on April 26, Samsung postponed releasing the device after screens on review models sent to news outlets and bloggers began malfunctioning after only a couple of days. A closer look at its construction shows a quick fix for the Fold might not be so easy to engineer.
Samsung said Monday that initial tests of the review units revealed issues with the hinge that allows the Fold to open and close, and one instance where “substances found inside the device affected the display performance.” On Wednesday, repair company iFixit shed more light on what might be causing those problems.
It’s not clear how iFixit got its hands on a Fold, since they aren’t available anywhere for sale, but now the device has been opened up. The website’s step-by-step teardown showed two major areas where debris can enter the device: on the top and bottom of the inside crease, where the two sides of the screen meet, and also on the back of the spine.
The 7-millimeter void at the edge of the display may sound tiny, but flat devices like iPhones don’t have any gaps whatsoever. It was “really surprising to my team to find that amount of open space,” says Sam Lionheart, the lead teardown engineer at iFixit. (The teardown is no longer on iFixit’s website. It was removed at Samsung’s request, though it’s still available in archived form.)