iFixit teardown of the Galaxy Fold reveals several design gaps

iFixit teardown of the Galaxy Fold reveals several design gaps

A look at the interior of the Galaxy Fold in a teardown by iFixit reveals the biggest design gaps of the foldable smartphone - in the truest sense of the word.

After iFixit recently published a report in which the experts speculated about the problems with the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the hobbyists have finally been able to put their hands on the foldable smartphone. It shows which compromises Samsung had to make and what might be the reason for the current display problems.

According to the experts, Samsung went to great lengths to design a solid hinge consisting of three parts. The middle hinge distributes the force evenly when opening so that both halves open evenly. The two side hinges, on the other hand, have some play to absorb the torsional forces. Also the cable routing is well solved.

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The Galaxy Fold hinge system / © iFixit

However, the manufacturer did not protect the device sufficiently against the penetration of dust and dirt. A seven millimeter hole around the hinge is a particular vulnerability. This is a particular problem with the extremely sensitive OLED displays, as can also be seen in the incidents in which a hump appears in the display due to dirt that has penetrated.

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This is what it looks like when dirt gets under the display. / © The Verge

But this gap is not even the biggest problem and is at least closed when closed and the flexible display protected. Worse, according to experts, are the gaps on the back of the hinge where dust or worse can penetrate. According to the experts, they have not seen so many gaps in a smartphone for a long time.

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The design gaps in the Galaxy Fold in the truest sense of the word / © iFixit

What causes the display problems at Galaxy Fold?

It was easy for the experts to soften the adhesive with a little heat and thus get to the inner workings and the display. This would make a repair easier, but iFixit is more concerned that the adhesive on the edge of the display will come off by itself over time. 

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The border around the display is weakly glued / © iFixit

There is also information about the display foil, the removal of which probably cost the lives of some Galaxy Folds. iFixit says:

"The display could technically work without this layer, but it's so tightly bonded, and the display is so sensitive, it's difficult to remove it without putting so much pressure on the display that it breaks."

With this two presumable causes for the current problems of the Galaxy Fold can be identified. The removal of the film, which can be prevented by clear instructions to the customer, and the numerous gaps in the housing. But the latter in particular should be something that Samsung probably can't fix in a very short time.

As a score iFixit has awarded 2 out of 10 possible points. This makes the Galaxy Fold difficult to repair and especially if there are display problems, a repair should cost a lot of money.

What do you say? Will Samsung be able to fix the problems with the Galaxy Fold or is a disaster approaching for the manufacturer? 

Source: iFixit

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  • Gavin Runeblade Apr 25, 2019 Link to comment

    The adhesive is an easy fix and a disappointing discovery. The film, I'm not sure on. The gaps in the design should be resolvable if no onther manufacturer is having the same issue with their products. This review suggests to me that Samsung either cut corners or raced to release too soon.