July 26, 2019 12:45
Samsung will finally start sales of its Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone in September after ironing out initial screen troubles that rocked the company's reputation.
Samsung on Thursday said it is taking time to "fully evaluate the product design" and "run rigorous tests" so the phone is ready for release without further hiccups.
Samsung originally planned to roll out the Galaxy Fold in the U.S. on April 26 but scrapped the launch as review models exposed several problems.
First, a gap between the screen and protective film has been filled. In the original model, test users could slide their fingertips into the gap and thought they were supposed to remove the protective layer, but instead they ended up ruining the phone.
Second, Samsung added protective caps at the top and bottom of the hinges to keep small pieces of grit from becoming trapped and warping the display.
An extra metal layer behind the screen has also been added to reinforce protection. "We improved the phone in many aspects, protecting it from external debris while maintaining the foldable function," a Samsung spokesman said.
When folded, the Galaxy Fold has a 4.6-inch screen, but unfolded that doubles 7.3 inches. The gadget will cost an eye-watering W2.3-2.4 million (US$1=W1,182).
Samsung has yet to decide on when to start selling the phone in Korea. It will be rolled out consecutively in different markets, and the versions sold in Korea will feature 5G connectivity.
The Galaxy Fold will compete with Huawei's Mate X foldable phone, which to hit store shelves in late August or early September. While the Galaxy Fold folds inward, the Mate X folds outward and will therefore be even bigger, with the 6.4-inch screen growing to 8 inches unfolded.
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