Issue acknowledged in Note 4 manual, gap 'may expand slightly' over time
As the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launches in South Korea, reports have emerged in the Korean press of an unusual hardware issue affecting some Note 4 units. The story, first broken by local outlet IT Today, says some Korean Note 4s include a gap between the screen and the metal trim large enough to insert a business card. Given that the Note 4 isn't available globally just yet, it's unclear exactly how widespread this issue is — and isolated build issues with new smartphones aren't exactly uncommon.
Curiously, though, Samsung directly addresses this issue in its manual for the European Galaxy Note 4, which arrived on the company's support site in the past day. Tucked away on page 180 of the document, under the "Troubleshooting" section, is the following —
A small gap appears around the outside of the device case
- This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur.
- Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly.
This suggests the Note 4 screen gap is a characteristic of the device in general, not just a manufacturing aberration affecting early adopters. The second bullet point may give buyers pause, however, as a widening gap between screen and chassis doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the device's build quality. What's more, we've noticed no such issues with the Galaxy Alpha, which uses a very similar metal-banded design.
We'll know more once the Galaxy Note 4 becomes more widely available. In the meantime we've reached out to Samsung for more information on what function the screen gap actually serves, and will update this post with any new details.
Update: A Samsung spokesperson has commented on the reports coming out of Korea:
The reported issue does not impact the functionality or quality of the Galaxy Note 4. We assure our customers that all Galaxy Note 4 units meet our strict manufacturing and quality control standards
While this quote doesn't really provide more details on the issue, we're sure some consumers will feel more comfortable picking the Galaxy Note 4 once available.