Google’s recently announced Pixel Fold foldable just went on sale today in select markets. However, buyers may have something to worry about as a user who got early access to the handset claims that it died out on him after just four days of use. Since most buyers who pre-ordered the foldable will only start getting their hands on Google’s first foldable device today, it’s hard to tell if this is a one-off issue or a widespread one as there have only been a few reported issues so far.
The Pixel Fold in question belongs to Ron Amadeo from Arstechnica, who explained how the phone’s gapless design can easily result in a damaged display when dust particles or debris gets trapped between the two halves.
The user claims that he did not even put the Pixel Fold through the regular usage cycle of months, but it mainly just sat on his desk, with some minor usage. During this short testing period the foldable was never dropped, so there were no instances of accidental damage as well. He began to notice random damage to the phone’s inner folding display after the first 10 rows of pixels at the bottom edge of the display died out. Soon enough, the bottom half of the display also stopped responding to touch before spreading to the rest of the display.
According to his findings, the flat folding design with the near gapless inner display layout of the Google Pixel Fold with the bezels are to blame. So, when a dust particle gets trapped between the two halves of the inner plastic protective layer, it literally has nowhere to move given the minimal tolerance between the two halves. When this happens, it’s up to the flexible ultra-thin-glass (UTG) protective layer to save the display from getting dents or scratches when trapped.
In Amadeo’s case, the culprit could be the sensitive area of the Pixel Fold’s display between the UTG cover and the bezel, which is often left exposed and also ends up trapping plenty of dust on foldables of all types and sizes. The user’s phone had a tiny cavity near the area where the display started showcasing issues. According to him, this could have been caused by a trapped dust particle, which may have punctured the display below it when snapped shut.
The Verge’s review of the Pixel Fold also states how easy it was to get a scratch on the device’s inner folding display. The same reviewer also mentions how a colleagues’ inner display bezel also got chipped.
While the above cases seem valid, it’s hard to confirm if these are only to do with review units seeded to the media or a widespread design defect, which may turn out into a very big problem for Google. Whether it is or isn’t, is something customers will begin to voice out as soon as they set up and start using their Pixel Fold in the coming days. Gadgets 360 has reached out to Google for comment, but has yet to receive a reply about the durability of the Pixel Fold. The Google Pixel Fold has only been officially released in select markets, which does not include India.