Samsung told us what sort of engineering went into making a Galaxy Fold possible. If you didn't believe what the company had to say, well, take a look at a teardown courtesy of a Chinese blogger and see all the moving parts for yourself.
The images of this torn-down foldable phone seemed to have originally come from this Weibo user — at least, so the watermarks may claim. The post has since been removed from the account, but not before the pictures were circulated to the wider internet. We have obtained the blogger's observations through GSMArena.
From this view, you can clearly make out two large battery cells that feed into this beast. We also see the three outward-facing cameras stacked in vertical orientation and one of the inward-facing cameras in the top-right corner of the main body.
This image gives us a better idea of what's going on with the casing shell and give us an obstructed view of the hinge mechanism.
Taking off the protective cover, we find that the component is made of three bottom-mounted sections — they're basically gearboxes that allow the whole part to actuate — and two top-mounted mini-hinges.
Fairly thick ribbon cables cross the halves between those moving parts to keep the whole device functioning. Keep in mind that Samsung has tested this mechanism to work for more than 200,000 folds.
Check out how funky that flexible 7.3-inch display looks with that massive cut-out for the three inward-facing cameras. The blogger notes that the panel was soft "like rubber" and easy to remove. Contrast that with the 4.6-inch external display, which supposedly cracked in the disassembly process.
Finally, we see the logic boards come apart from the body to show some of the copper insulation that should keep the phone cool while in use.
This teardown in and of itself might not be able to explain much about the display issues plaguing Galaxy Fold review units right now, but it does give us a better understanding about how the mechanisms inside work and at what point repair jobs might start costing a lot more. Overall, though, if you're already paying $1,980 for a phone that can fold into itself, you might expect to pay a chunk of change to fix it up.
The iFixit teardown
iFixit has published its complete teardown report on the Galaxy Fold. Here are some highlights:
- There is a 7mm gap in the protective bezel for the display between the halves where particulates may intrude and damage the display.
- The bezels themselves, adhering to the frame with the help of a little adhesive, can easily be removed.
- The folding mechanism is described as using four "spring-loaded clasps" to keep the device open, two hinges to handle any torsion, and a gear-aided centerplace hinge to ensure the device folds and unfolds evenly.
- When closed, the spine of the device is vulnerable to letting in dust — this could also gum up the hinges.
The outlet has also evaluated what's been going on with the faults in Galaxy Fold media units.