The Google Pixel Fold was only officially released yesterday, and unfortunately, we’re seeing some of the first major casualties of Hot Foldable Summer. Reports of broken and damaged screens are starting to trickle in, ranging from “Hmm, that might not be great” to “Oh dear God, the humanity.”
First, there’s the very unfortunate incident that Ron Amadeo over at Ars Technica experienced: OLED death in no uncertain terms. He reports that a tiny bit of debris likely got into the inner screen’s small “gutter” between the screen protector and bezels and was smashed into the panel by the two halves of the phone closing. A Fold owner on Reddit is also reporting some small dents in this same area of the screen — they haven’t noticed the screen acting up, but given what happened to Ron, that’s plenty concerning. Another Fold owner reports some nasty peeling from the screen protector, along with what appears to be a scratch. I can also see a faint scratch on my review unit’s inner screen protector after just a week of use, which doesn’t inspire confidence, either.
Also on r/GooglePixel, user marcusr_uk reports that a bright pink line appeared across the Fold’s inner screen after only a couple of hours. Major ouchies. That certainly sounds like the kind of damage that would be covered by the warranty, and Google offers walk-in and mail-in repair options for the Fold. The company didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment on the situation, but we do know that it plans to let you handle DIY screen repairs with a kit from iFixit if you’re a brave soul.
Pixel Fold owners aren’t alone in their suffering. Despite vast improvements in durability over the years, Galaxy Z Fold (and Z Flip) owners still report problems with screen protectors coming unglued, screens cracking at the folding point, and hinges misbehaving. Being prepared for something to go wrong is still a reality of foldable ownership, so it’s all the more important to keep your device backed up, be extra cautious about using it in dusty environments, and purchase your manufacturer’s extended warranty plan if you can. In the meantime, the Hot Foldable Summer party continues — just maybe not at the beach.