At least two outlets — The Verge and CNBC — had review units with similarly catastrophic results but much more mysterious causes. I still don’t know how I got the bulge in my first Fold’s hinge that ultimately destroyed its flexible OLED panel, but it happened.
As of this writing, Samsung hasn’t said what the cause might be. And since I and the journalists at CNBC returned the broken units to Samsung so we could get replacements, we’re waiting on Samsung to offer up an explanation.
Samsung isn’t canceling or delaying the launch of this $1,980 folding smartphone from its April 26th launch date. So I feel a sense of responsibility to get this review out before people buy it. I’ll just say it right out front: I cannot recommend that anybody buy this thing until we know what’s up with these broken screens. The whole situation isn’t quite the fiasco of exploding Note 7 smartphones, as nobody’s safety is threatened, but it is, well, weird.
So here’s what I’m going to do: review the Galaxy Fold as if this whole terrible screen breaking thing will get resolved. Don’t take that to mean that I think it absolutely will be or that I think you should dismiss these problems. Entirely the opposite: you should not buy this phone until we get more information — and even then, it’s not a great purchase.
But there’s enough to say about this device, its foibles, and the future it promises that I want to tell you about it. Because the other weird thing about the Galaxy Fold is this:
I have never used a device with this many problems that I have liked this much.