The Pixel Fold will be released today, on June 27th. However, a recent review of the device has raised some serious concerns about its durability. Ron Amadeo, the reviewer, who had only been using the Pixel Fold for four days, reported that the display suddenly died.
It has been reported that he had only been using the device for light tasks, such as browsing the web and checking email. This article understandably raises concerns about the real-life implications of the Pixel Fold’s durability, partially due to what it did, but mostly due to the timing of publication.
We know that the Pixel Fold is a high-end device, and it is priced accordingly at $1800. But, if it’s display can die after only four days of light use, it is unclear how long the device will last under more demanding conditions.
What Happened to the Display?
While this is common sense that if something sharp, or with enough pressure pushes onto an OLED screen, it’ll puncture it, and with foldables, this is a really sensitive issue as if there’s anything between the screen when closed, it can very easily damage the screen.
But HOW you may ask. Aren’t these phones designed keeping this aspect in mind? Well, they are, but before that, you’ll need to understand how these screens work.
In the case of Pixel Fold, its foldable screen is made up of an ultra-thin glass layer, which is covered in a protective plastic layer. This plastic layer is really important to protect the OLED, but it doesn’t stretch to the edges. This means that there is a small gap around the corners of the display where the plastic layer is not present. This gap is exposed to the elements, and if any debris gets into it, it can puncture the OLED panel.
The Pixel Fold’s bezels are also very thin (in height), which means that there is less of a gap between the two halves of the display when it is closed. This means that even a small piece of debris can be enough to puncture the OLED panel, as it has a flat closing mechanism.
According to Ron,
The tiniest bit of something got in there, and when I closed the display, the pressure of the other display side was enough to puncture the OLED panel. It didn’t see or feel anything when closing the device, but the display pixels started freaking out. After going over the device with a magnifying glass, I think I found where the puncture was.
Is this Something You Should Worry About?
Foldable phones are more expensive than traditional smartphones, and they are also more fragile in most cases. If a foldable phone’s display is damaged, it can be very expensive to repair or replace, but as for this review, there may not be a lot to worry about.
Ron Amadeo is an experienced writer, but his reviews have been known to be biased towards a side, or negative. Some people believe that this should disqualify his work, but I disagree. As long as the points presented are logical and accurate, then there is no need to point fingers at the writer.
In the case of the Pixel Fold, many people are bashing Ron on the basis that he “deliberately” did this to tarnish Google’s reputation. However, it is important to note that most of these people are users of Google’s devices. There is a good chance that they are simply trying to defend the brand, even if they do not have any concrete points to back up their claims.
To me, the issue seems to be genuine, since with closed display halves that touch, you could easily risk damaging your screen. But, at the same time, when foldable like Samsung Z Fold were introduced, it seemed as if people strongly disliked Samsung’s own design, and wanted something completely opposite.
It is possible that Amadeo’s Pixel Fold display was damaged by a piece of lint, as he claims. However, it is also possible that the display was damaged by something else, such as a drop or a scratch. Without clear inside information, it is difficult to say for sure what caused the display to fail.
While this is all we know for now, we will make sure to keep you updated on all developments if new information becomes available.