A Google Pixel Fold’s screen broke already. Should you be concerned

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A Google Pixel Fold’s screen broke already. Should you be concerned?

Ron Amadeo’s faith in the Pixel Fold was shaken just four days into his review of Google’s new folding phone-cum-tablet. As he was folding it, some detritus – apparently a small piece of grit – got stuck in the fractional boundary of exposed OLED display that sits between the top protective layer and the bezel. It caused a blemish that gradually spread across the bottom half of the screen until it became completely unusable.

It’s not the first time a folding phone has suffered damage of this sort, and it certainly won’t be the last. But a Google rep tells Android Central that the company is working on a fix for its flagship and is offering a replacement unit to anyone who needs it. The rep also confirmed that the Pixel Fold will be the first phone to offer a self-repair option, allowing customers to purchase parts and tools from iFixit to repair their own devices.

The Pixel Fold’s unique hardware offers some intriguing possibilities for apps. Its half-opened Tabletop mode lets you watch a video on one screen while displaying controls and other information on the other, for example, or control your music app by swiping on the top part of the inner display. Google has optimised 50 official apps to take advantage of the phone-cum-tablet’s dual displays, and it’s working with developer partners for even more, too. It’s also promising a few exclusive features to go with the Pixel Fold’s double screens, including selfies using Google’s Real Tone skin tone tech and astrophotography without a tripod via the main camera and its foldout display.

But despite all that, it’s hard to see a phone-cum-tablet with a hinge like this going long-term without issues. Samsung’s 2019 Galaxy Fold was plagued by a host of durability problems from day one, and a similar fate seems to be befalling the Pixel Fold.

It would have been easier to dismiss such concerns if it was a single isolated case, but the fact that several users have experienced this kind of issue so soon suggests that the Pixel Fold’s display isn’t as durable as we might have hoped for a phone that costs as much as this. As such, I’d suggest holding off on buying it until more information becomes available about the Pixel Fold’s longevity. Until then, you’re better off with a traditional slab-style smartphone or even one of the many excellent offerings from other manufacturers. It’s a shame that Google isn’t doing more to help protect buyers of its high-end product, especially considering the $1,799 / £1,749 price tag.

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