The updated Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally making its way into the world after a months-long delay by Samsung to shore up its hardware when it became apparent from review units (including The Verge’s) that the foldable phone was too fragile. Unfortunately, it seems that the “fixed” version of the Fold is still extremely fragile. And based on a new video Samsung released begging owners to treat their new phones with a “special level of care,” Samsung knows it. A new durability test from popular YouTube channel JerryRigEverything proves it.
With the first iteration of the Fold, there were multiple issues that reviewers encountered, like dust getting into the hinge and damaging the display, nicks and dings on the soft plastic, and the accidental removal of a thin display layer that looked like (but was not) a screen protector. Samsung reportedly fixed most of these issues with the 2.0 Fold by extending the top screen layer beneath the bezels so it would be impossible to peel it off, shrinking down the gaps by the hinge, and adding plastic caps to prevent dust or debris from getting in.
Despite all that, Samsung’s video exhorts owners to handle their $1,000-plus phones with kid gloves. Some of Samsung’s requests are more logical: the company advises against adding any additional screen protectors (which could interfere with the folding display). Others, though, like not applying “excessive pressure” to the touchscreen when tapping it, are a bit more unusual for a phone. Samsung also cautions that the Fold isn’t water or dustproof and that the magnets that hold it shut can interfere with other magnetic products, like credit credits, hotel room keys, or medical devices.
Unfortunately, despite all those warnings, it looks like the new Fold is still almost absurdly easy to break. As JerryRigEverything shows off in a comprehensive durability test, many of the issues that plagued the first attempt at the Fold are still here: the screen is still extremely soft and easy to scratch; even fingernails are capable of damaging the display. (Samsung’s warning about tapping it too hard makes more sense now.)
JerryRigEverything’s tests also found that it was far too easy for debris to make it inside the display, which is troubling. Other parts of the test were more encouraging. The Fold does hold up admirably against attempts to fold it backward, which is a testament to the level of engineering that Samsung has put into the physical hardware.
One thing we’re still waiting to hear more about is Samsung’s promise to offer customers something called the “Galaxy Fold Premier Service.” It appears briefly in Samsung’s video, but beyond a personal setup session, training session, and phone support, we don’t know what else it includes. In theory, it ought to include some kind of improved warranty for that delicate screen. But in practice, we just don’t know.