Foldable Disaster

At this point in time, when it comes to smartphones, we’re all wondering: how much farther can they possibly go? Samsung has attempted- keyword attempted-  to bring something new to the table, something that would change future smartphones forever- the foldable smartphone.

The development of this phone goes all the way back to 2011- and a concept video was made in 2014.

On April 15th, Samsung released the first Galaxy Folds, exclusively to journalists and notable tech reviewers. Big name reviewers such as Marques Brownlee, Dieter Bohn of The Verge, and Steve Kovach from CNBC made videos about the Fold and their first impressions.

Marques Brownlee’s initial video stayed positive- he didn’t really go over the issues that the phone was having, only commenting on small things he thought could be made better.

Dieter Bohn of The Verge was much more to the point: there are some serious issues with this phone. He immediately pointed out issues with the screen, before even getting into the review of the actual quality of the device.

The first issue he noted was, of course, the screen. There’s no denying the display is beautiful- but is it sustainable? Samsung decided that it would be an excellent idea to put a necessary and integral part of the phone on the very surface, and to many, it seemed as if this important part of the screen was simply shipping plastic. Some unfortunate reviewers found this out the hard way.

Upon peeling the plastic, the phones were basically… broken after that. And there was no easy way to undo the mistake- even a little bit of peel was virtually impossible to fix.

Why make a vital part of the phone removable with fingernails?

Some claim that there were warnings on the box itself, but others deny that there was. Warning or not, there’s no excuse for such a mistake.

Reviewers who didn’t mess with the phone’s flimsy plastic cover still experienced issues, whether they be from warping, scratches appearing easily, or simple screen failure.

So the screen is the big technical issue- there are others, of course, but the screen is the main reason that Samsung is recalling the few phones they sent out.

There are other, smaller things- many believe that the size of the small screen when the device is not unfolded is not appropriate- it’s too small. It is in fact, very small, with a 4.6-inch display.

Debris can easily get stuck in the hinge mechanism, and the plastic- yes, plastic- display can easily be dented by simple pocket lint. And the price tag… Let’s just say, at nearly 2,000 dollars, this phone won’t be for the average everyday consumer, and more for tech geeks and people with the money to spare on a whimsical new concept of technology.

Making this a practical technology with a practical price tag would truly make the Fold revolutionary, but that is not in the foreseeable future, especially because the official release of the phone has been delayed.

Despite all this, the Fold is cool. Crystal clear display, the ability to run as many as three apps at one time, and the sheer novelty of having a phone that can turn into what is basically a tablet with a satisfying snap.

Hopefully one day, this will become the norm. It’s easy to imagine that other tech giants will soon follow in Samsung’s footsteps and come out with perhaps a better quality, more durable version of the foldable pioneer.