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Numerous journalist with review models of Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold smartphone are reporting that their devices are more or less falling apart.
The $1,980 device, which offers a 7.3-inch display that can fold in half, has caused issues for at least four individuals thus far.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman noted on Twitter Wednesday that his screen was “completely broken and unusable just two days in.”
“Hard to know if this is widespread or not,” Gurman added.
The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not. pic.twitter.com/G0OHj3DQHw— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
Turns out it was.
The Bloomberg writer speculates that the issue could have stemmed from the removal of a plastic layer on the screen that he mistakenly believed was a screen protector.
“Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either),” Gurman said. “It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem.”
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
But Gurman wasn’t the only one confused by the protective plastic layer on the phone. Marques Brownlee, a widely popular tech reviewer on YouTube, similarly noticed problems after he started to peel of the protective layer as well.
“PSA: There’s a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold’s display,” Brownlee said. “It’s NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.”
PSA: There's a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's display. It's NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
CNBC’s Todd Haselton also shared video of a colleague’s review unit that was repeatedly glitching on one side of the screen. The problem, like Gurman’s, began two days into the review.
Steve Kobach of CNBC shared a similar video of the malfunctioning Samsung model.
After one day of use... pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019
Writing for the Verge, Dieter Bohn described a “bulge” in his device’s screen that ultimately led the folding phone to fail.
“It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit,” Bohn writes. “More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it.”
Samsung has not yet released a statement on the reported failures and did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Dot.
The Galaxy Fold had already sold out of preorder units before reports of such issues surfaced. But, as some have noted online, at least the phone’s battery isn’t exploding like those in the Note 7.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.