Samsung Added ‘Chainmail Armour’ To Galaxy Fold Screen – iFixit

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Teardown specialists reveal what changes Samsung made to rectify problems with the Galaxy Fold

Repair specialists iFixit has revealed what changes Samsung made to its relaunched Galaxy Fold smartphone.

It updated its original teardown of the innovative folding smartphone, first revealed in April 2019, and detailed the changes to make the device less likely to break.

Samsung relaunched the Fold in early September, after the groundbreaking folding smartphone had been slated to arrive in US shops on 26 April and in the UK on 3 May. The price still is a hefty $2,000 (£1,800).

The Galxy Fold. Image credit: Samsung

iFixit teardown

But those dates soon slipped after Samsung was forced to postpone the launch after early reviewers reported faults with the folding display, which halted media events for the device in the Far East.

The boss of Samsung, co-CEO DJ Koh earlier in Juy had admitted that the delayed launch of its folding smartphone, was ‘embarrassing.’

He reportedly said he had pushed the Galaxy Fold to market “before it was ready.” An executive in June had confirmed that the faults had been fixed with the device.

And now iFixit has revealed the changes made in its revised teardown, which it called “Galaxy Fold Teardown, Part Two: The Re-Unfoldening.”

Hardware specs wise the device boasts a 7.3″ dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex main display (2152 × 1536 resolution, 362 ppi), and one 4.6″ super AMOLED cover display (720 × 1680, 399 ppi).

It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 64-bit octa-core processor, and comes with 12 GB RAM with 512 GB internal storage.

The revised model is 13 grams heavier at 276 grams, and iFixit warns it is a thick device, so no good for those people with skinny jeans.

Samsung also issued fresh advice, including warnings against touching the touchscreen too hard, and exposing the phone to dust. It also said that “when folding the device, do not place any objects, such as cards, coins, or keys, on the screen.”

Protective measures

Samsung has added a protective cover over the common entry point for display-killing debris at either end of the fold, where a break in the hard plastic bezel had previously left a big gap.

The teardown specialist also uncovered the fact that the delicate display, besides having a much more extensive screen protector, now comes with reinforcements on the inside.

Source: iFixit

“Well, well – this must be the reinforced screen we’ve heard so much about,” said iFixit. “And we do indeed find an extra metal layer, like chainmail armour between the backing plates and the display.”

“All this metal makes the display surprisingly rigid, even when separated from the chassis,” it said. “Once removed from the chassis, the display looks completely flat, with no fold or scoring in sight.”

Source: iFixit

“For the most part, it looks like Samsung quietly made all the durability quick-fixes we suggested in our original Fold teardown! You’re welcome, Samsung,” said the repair specialists.

“We found covers over the gaps on either side of the display crease and tape around the inside of the hinge, both working to keep debris away from the backside of the display.”

“For further reinforcement, there’s an extra layer of metal bonded to the back of the display,” it said. “Last but not least, the screen protector is slightly larger, hiding its tempting edges beneath the plastic bezel.”

“That said, this thing is still pretty fragile. We’ll have to see how it holds up in the real world, but for now we can’t help but wonder: why weren’t these revisions a part of the first Fold? It took reviewers (and us) less than a week to figure out the phone’s weak points. Why ship something they must have known to be so easily breakable?” they asked.

“While the phone is easier to get into than some, it still seems alarmingly fragile – a bad sign for repair,” it concluded.

It scored 2 out 10 for repairability.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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