The Samsung Galaxy Fold doesn’t release until April 26th, but if you’ve been eagerly awaiting a glimpse under the hood, a pre-production version of the folding phone has already been disassembled and laid out piece by piece in photos. These were originally hosted on microblogging site Weibo, though the originals have since been removed.
Something that shouldn’t be much of a surprise: it takes a lot of parts to build a foldable phone. They’re all arranged in a manner that looks quite difficult to repair, though that likely comes down to the Fold being a first-generation product, which you might not guess when you’re holding the Fold’s sleek exterior.
These photos are our clearest look yet at what makes this ambitious, flawed, and very expensive phone tick. But we expect more detailed teardowns to come soon.
The hinge is the heart of the Fold that helps its 7.3-inch foldable screen unfold and keeps it safe. It looks pretty sturdy from the inside, and we can see it’s reinforced at three points, perhaps to keep it from collapsing in the event of a fall. Several photos above show two ribbon cables routed through the hinge, presumably to drive both the large, foldable screen and the smaller 4.6-inch display on its front, and perhaps also to send power to the phone’s second battery (yes, there are two) when it’s on a charger.
Speaking of the batteries, one of them has “TBD mAh” of capacity listed, indicating that this is likely a pre-production unit.
Both of the cables stretching through the hinge have “L” and “R” printed on them. That might help explain the display’s “jelly scrolling” effect that we spotted in our review, if it turns out that the left and right halves of the display are sent different video signals. As seen in the GIF above, text and images appear to be a bit behind on the left side of the foldable display compared to the right side.
Before our review of the Fold published, its flexible screen was giving us some issues, to say the least. We weren’t the only ones to have problems with it, but we suspected some debris found its way into our review unit after one day of using it. The photos don’t necessarily highlight any areas of particular weakness that would have allowed that to happen. One of the photos shows the flexible display removed from the phone’s chassis, and there don’t seem to be any parts keeping it in. Since the documentation of the teardown has been removed from Weibo, it’s not clear if this screen has the all-too-easy-to-remove, yet vital protective layer still applied, or if it’s removed.
These photos offer up a glimpse into the Galaxy Fold, but there are still more questions than answers. We don’t know the teardown methodology, so it’s tough to know exactly what each component is responsible for, and how difficult this phone will actually be to repair.