RIP The Foldable Smartphone?

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Foldable smartphones have consumed a lot of buzz over the past year, but that seems to be dwindling down. Most of the excitement came when Samsung gave a look at a working new smartphone called the Galaxy Fold. Even before that, people were salivating at all the things a foldable smartphone could do.

“Samsung has built a sturdy backbone to the device, with a hinge system that has multiple interlocking gears. All of these gears are hidden at the rear of the device, and allow the Galaxy Fold to transform from tablet to phone modes,” claimed The Verge in a glowing analysis. Of course, things didn’t actually work out that way.

When Samsung sent the review units out in April, many reviewers complained about screen flickering (or completely blacking out), a bump appearing under the display, screens being easily scratched, and some software issues. It’s true that the scratches appeared after reviewers removed the screen protector, which Samsung says shouldn’t be done. But most phones don’t require you to keep a screen protector on.

Now, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has been delayed — at least twice. The Huawei Mate X has also been delayed. Both companies claim their foldable smartphones need “extra testing.” The companies are doing all they can to fix the physical defects (the software defects can be fixed later with an update), and — in the meantime — people are losing interest in the foldable devices. The tech industry has a short attention span, and people are definitely moving on.

Huawei has delayed their foldable smartphone as well.

According to Gizmodo, Samsung isn’t giving up, and they are trying to fix the problems as soon as possible. Apparently, the Korean company has not only increased the size of the protective film (making it more difficult to peel off), but they are also decreasing the size of the gaps between the Fold’s screen and hinge — this prevents foreign materials from getting inside.

Samsung also appears confident enough to produce more versions of the Galaxy Fold. Some may find this laughable, but perhaps Samsung knows what they are doing. Remember when the Galaxy Note came out in 2011 and didn’t quite excite consumers? When the Note 2 came out in October of 2012, Samsung fixed most of the problems and made a top-selling device. Perhaps it really is too early to dismiss Samsung’s efforts to create a foldable smartphone that actually works.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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