The first reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Fold—the company’s $2000 folding phone—landed a few days ago. Yesterday, some of those same review units were already broken. Four journalists all experienced display failure after two days of use. Oh man.
Dieter Bohn of The Verge, Steve Kovach of CNBC, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, and tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) all experienced catastrophic display failure on their Fold review units. The interesting part is that the issue seems to manifest for different reasons—and it’s still not clear what’s happening on a couple of these units.
The Galaxy Fold ships with something that looks like a screen protector in place, but it’s not actually a screen protector—it’s a special protective layer that covers the folding OLED panel. While there’s a warning on the cling film that ships on the device not to remove this protective layer, this is an easy oversight. We’ve all peeled the plastic cling off a new phone before. No one reads it anything that’s written on it.
But as it turns out, the screen protector-like film isn’t meant to be removed. But two of the reviewers—Gurman and MKBHD—pulled the protective film from their devices (because, again, it appeared to be removable). MKBD didn’t even get the film completely off before his unit started to experience display issues.
Bohn and Kovach, however, did not remove this protective layer and both of their devices still suffered very similar display issues. Regardless of the cause, this is not a good look for Samsung—that said, it’s still a bit early to scream “the sky is falling.”
But this is still a $2000 phone that was completely sold out the day it went on sale. It’s set to ship to customers next week. In a statement, Samsung said it would “thoroughly inspect” the faulty review units, as well as make sure customers know not to remove the protective film. I bet they already know now.
I just hope this was an isolated situation that only affected a small number of pre-release units. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for a larger sample size to get a better idea of how widespread this issue is—or more hopefully, isn’t.
In happier news, Google Assistant got some really useful Hue integration, Adidas made a fully-recyclable running shoe, and <thing>. In less happy news, Facebook probably “accidentally” uploaded your friends’ email addresses. Oh, and it’s making a voice assistant. Woof.
- Assistant + Hue = wake up naturally: Now Google Assistant can use your Hue lights to slowly wake you up by turning the brightness up over a 30-minute-period—you know, like a sunrise! It can also slowly turn the light off at night, too. [Google Blog]
- Facebook’s voice assistant is coming: Facebook has been developing its own digital assistant to compete with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Nothing about this sounds like a good idea. [CNBC]
- Facebook uploaded a bunch of email addresses: If you joined Facebook after May 2016, there’s a good chance the social network grabbed the email addresses from your contacts list without asking permission. It says this was a mistake and it’s now in the process of deleting the lists, which were pulled from 1.5 million users. But hey—we can totally trust them with voice access, right?
- YouTube comes back to Fire: It looks like Google and Amazon have finally settled their differences—YouTube is coming back to Fire TV and Prime Video is getting Chromecast support. I’m so glad they’re BFFs again. [The Verge]
- Sprint’s in a bad place: According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, things are looking even worse for Sprint than anyone thought. Looks like they’re going to need that merger. Soon. [WSJ]
- Facial recognition in airports is coming: By 2023, facial recognition will be in 97 percent of airports, scanning departing passengers. Mr. Orwell is rolling over in his grave. [The Verge]
- Adidas’ recyclable shoes: Adidas made a shoe called the Futurecraft Loop that’s made entirely of recyclable TPU. It doesn’t even have any glue! And best of all: they still look really good. [Engadget]