Latest Tech News: Galaxy Fold’s troubled screen can’t have the one thing it needs – CNET


Latest Tech News: Galaxy Fold’s troubled screen can’t have the one thing it needs – CNET

 Early problems with the Galaxy Fold's screen are well known by now, after the Galaxy Fold's plastic Infinity Flex display suffered breakdown after br

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 Early problems with the Galaxy Fold’s screen are well known by now, after the Galaxy Fold’s plastic Infinity Flex display suffered breakdown after breakdown on five early production review units. The theme is clear — without a bendable glass topper, the delicate screen surface is too fragile for all but the lightest touch. Samsung is no doubt scrambling for a feasible workaround to reinforce the screen, pushing back the launch of Fold preorders until June at least. But until foldable phones get bendable glass — a substance that Gorilla Glass maker Corning says may not be available for another year or two — the Fold won’t be able to fulfill its true potential.See, this device is crying out for a stylus. It just makes sense. With its 7.3-inch inner screen, the Fold’s hybrid phone-tablet design has roughly 11.5% more display space than the Galaxy Note 9’s 6.4-inch screen, a phone that’s entirely defined by its S Pen stylus. When you’re already paying $1,980 for a “luxury” device, getting the ability to do more would only increase the Fold’s value.The Galaxy Fold is the first foldable phone from a major player. Phones that bend signal a bold new direction for Samsung and other brands that could double your phone’s screen space while remaining small enough to carry around. Samsung’s early problems highlight how a more complex design can increase the risk for something to go wrong.Think of how much more you could do with a pen.
Angela Lang/CNET
A stylus is the Galaxy Fold’s perfect accessory. Everything you’d do on a phone like the rumored Note 10 you’d also want to do on the Fold, from navigating around and annotating items, to drawing or writing on the larger surface. Samsung already has this technology down pat, and extending the S Pen to the Fold could help Samsung further differentiate itself from other brands and win more Note fans.Although my own Galaxy Fold review unit worked flawlessly until Samsung asked for it back (this was scheduled from the start), I did notice first one screen dent and then another and a third, all accrued during my 10-day review period. While I’ve been known to scratch “regular” glass-topped phones in my purse or — yikes — the pavement, I had been babying the Fold.  A device you worry about marring with your fingernail isn’t one you needle countless times a day with the plastic tip of a digital pen.

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When that time comes, some of Samsung’s current phone screen problems might vanish, like debris working its way beneath the display, damage due to pressure and easy screen scratches. Bendable glass would open up a new opportunity for the Fold, one that seemed blindingly obvious to me after about five minutes of using the Galaxy Fold.Read: After Galaxy Fold fiasco, Note 10 may be the hero phone Samsung needsThe argument in favor of a Galaxy Fold stylus has precedent. Apple made the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro has the Surface Pen. Unlike these two devices, Samsung sees the Fold as a phone-tablet mashup and not a tablet-laptop hybrid, but both the iPad Pro and Surface Pro come with optional, aftermarket pen accessories aimed at power users. The Fold seems like a natural gateway for Samsung to explore a more grown-up Fold down the line, especially if foldable devices took off.

Samsung is gambling on foldable phone displays. The Galaxy S10 phones, while excellent overall, are threatened by rivals like the Huawei P30 Pro, Pixel 3 and iPhone XS to improve low light photos and video quality. Samsung needs a big hit to renew buyer excitement in its device and faith in its ability to meaningfully innovate. Meanwhile, the P30 easily dominates the Galaxy S10 Plus in zoom technology, with other phone-makers like China’s Oppo, also stirring up the trend. Samsung said, “We cannot speculate or comment on this.” While an S Pen for the Fold wouldn’t necessarily tip the balance toward the Galaxy Fold or erase buyers’ fears (a rewards program and concierge support would go further there), an extra accessory might give Fold fans more to love. At the very least, it could help make the Galaxy Fold feel more complete.  Article originally posted May 4 at 4 a.m. PT.

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