Google recently started shipping Pixel Folds, and already devices are breaking. The $1,800 folding phone resembles Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series in that it offers a 7.6-inch inner display that can be folded in half and features ultra-thin glass with a plastic protector to shield its screen – but unfortunately this latter feature leaves gaps that trap dust particles and puncture its OLED when the device closes shut.
Ron Amadeo from Ars Technica discovered this issue with his Pixel Fold. Within just four days of use, the bottom portion of its display had turned white and stopped responding to touch inputs; he believes a piece of dust had lodged itself between its plastic layer and bezels, then was blasted down upon by closing the device, puncturing and ultimately killing off an OLED display panel and eventually leading to its death.
Amadeo did not treat his Pixel Fold roughly and believes it to be a design flaw that affects everyone who uses foldable phones, including himself. According to Amadeo, dust particles tend to get trapped between the two halves of the inner screen protector when folding devices inward causing scratches when being folded back up again.
The Pixel Fold’s design forces users to fold it in landscape orientation, leaving its screen vulnerable to more dust particles than if used portrait mode. Furthermore, its gap makes it easier for dirt particles to adhere themselves inside of it.
This issue isn’t limited to Pixel Fold users alone – other users are reporting similar problems with their foldables as well. One Reddit user from r/PixelFold reported their crease had developed horizontal cracks after only 24 hours of ownership while another experienced a bright pink line appear shortly thereafter in their fold’s display.
These issues could turn some customers off who had considered purchasing the Pixel Fold. Google’s customer service record hasn’t exactly been stellar and many Pixel owners have turned to Reddit for assistance – one user on r/floatingOnTheForth detailed an upsetting story where they were told they needed a replacement phone as their broken Pixel Fold had to be sent back for repairs.
This issue won’t directly impact Pixel Fold sales, but it could affect its popularity and credibility as a foldable device. It would be difficult to justify spending so much on a phone that breaks in mere days; we hope Google addresses its issues as quickly as possible as they promise five years of OS and security updates for this device.