What you need to know
- Samsung is confident it has fixed the Galaxy Fold's fundamental flaws.
- Additional improvements in app optimization and software UX have also been made.
- Foldable phone will see a fresh retail launch in September in "select markets."
If you can imagine, I reviewed the Galaxy Fold three months ago. And then we all know what happened next; a slew of issues led to the indefinite delay of its launch. It's been effective radio silence from Samsung on the Galaxy Fold's whereabouts for three weeks, with little to go on in between. But now, Samsung finally speaks: the Galaxy Fold's issues have been fixed, it says, and it's ready to launch. Again.
A slew of hardware changes directly address what caused early Folds to fail.
Samsung has detailed the latest Galaxy Fold developments in a news release. It says that the Fold will be launched again in "select markets" in September, which means it will be coming after the upcoming Galaxy Note 10 launch. In order to make the Fold ready for market again, it "has taken the time to fully evaluate the product design, make necessary improvements and run rigorous tests to validate the changes we made."
The infamous "protective layer" will now extend beyond the edges of the display panel and integrate into the bezel, "making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed." Additional screen changes have been made to reduce the chances that "external particles" make their way into the screen mechanism. The hinge has also been strengthened, there is now more metal structure underneath the display, and there are end caps on the top and bottom of the hinge.
Substantial changes have been made, but is it enough to overcome the shadow of the initial launch?
As the months of hardware development was happening, Samsung also took the time to improve the software. It says that additional app compatibility and software interface changes have been made to further realize the foldable display's potential. It isn't clear exactly what was changed at this point, though.
If — and that's a big if — Samsung has truly solved the Fold's hardware problems, and paired them with improved software, the foldable may have some sort of a chance of limited success later this year. It's just tough to see how well the Galaxy Fold can come out from under the shadow of its failed launch back in April.
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