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Samsung Galaxy Fold teardown reveals a couple of gaps that could cause issues

The Galaxy Fold launch has been postponed indefinitely as Samsung will be conducting a thorough investigation on the recent issues. While most reviewers are returning their units, the folks at iFixit had managed to give the foldable device a full teardown treatment which gives us a clearer look of the inside.

Making a foldable device is more complicated than your typical candybar smartphone. It features a flexible Infinity Flex display and a mechanical hinge. As expected, the Galaxy Fold has a low repairability score of 2 out of 10. It is not only fragile but it’s also almost impossible to repair.

During the teardown process, iFixit has identified a couple of areas where potential problems could occur. Surrounding the main display on the inside is a slim plastic frame but it leaves a gap where the screen folds as pictured above. This noticeable gap could be an entry point for dust and pocket lint, which could potentially interfere with the hinge. There are also fine gaps at the back of the hinge where dust could enter as well. Unlike the Galaxy S10 and Note9, there’s no IP-rated dust and water resistance for the Galaxy Fold.

Remember that protective layer that you shouldn’t take out? Ifixit had made a good point that Samsung could potentially extend that layer to stretch underneath the slim plastic frame. That way, it won’t give anyone ideas that it could be peeled off in the first place.

There’s also two metal plates for each side which makes the flexible display rigid for normal use. Obviously, the metal plate doesn’t cover the middle portion to allow flexing.

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The teardown also provides a closer look at the hinge design. It has four spring-loaded clasps that lock the Fold in an open position and they found it to be well engineered. There are also two hinges – one on top and another at the bottom, which can absorb any torsion force. The hinge that’s placed right smack in the middle has a gear system which helps to distribute the opening force so that both sides are open in sync.

The Galaxy Fold comes with 4,380mAh of juice that consists of two separate batteries. As shown here, there’s a battery with a 2,135mAh capacity and another with 2,245mAh. It is worth pointing out that the 5G variant comes with a smaller battery capacity of 4,235mAh combined.

As Samsung is looking into strengthening the display protection, we hope that these gaps will be addressed in the final commercial units. According to Samsung, they will update on a new launch date in the coming weeks.

You can check out the full teardown on iFixit.

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Alexander Wong