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The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is breaking again, and it looks bad

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with a “new protective film made of stretchable PET5 and optimized display panel layers resulting in a Main Screen that’s 80% more durable than previous devices.” Samsung also said back in 2021 that the phone has been “put through a strenuous folding test, verified by Bureau Veritas, to withstand folding 200,000 times.”

But how does that play out in reality? Actual Galaxy Z Fold 3 users are living a rather different story — one where the inner foldable display has broken or cracked within a year, or so, of purchase.

A Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with a broken screen.
Mizderrung/Reddit

On Samsung’s official community forum, multiple Galaxy Z Fold 3 owners have complained about a broken screen with nonfunctional pixels or a huge dead zone. In some cases, the device was under warranty. You can find the tale of grieving Galaxy Z Fold 3 customers, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Similar stories have been narrated on Reddit, and PhoneArena has received tips about breaking screens from its readers, too.

Avoid🚫🚫 @SamsungUK@Samsung Z FOLD 3
only 5 months old and the screen is starting to slowly crack, down the crease after opening and closing, not good for a phone meant to fold!!
Both @EE & @Samsung are not helping a simple warranty issue here,
Crap service & trying to charge pic.twitter.com/OI3rooCulF

— DC WORLD (@_DCWorld) May 3, 2022

We’ve also come across multiple posts on Twitter where Galaxy Z Fold 3 owners have posted pictures showing cracks appearing alongside the crease in the middle of the screen. For some, a thick black line appeared in the middle, leaving one-half of the screen nonfunctional. In other cases, there was a single long crack, and as per the affected owner, Samsung support apparently refused to repair it.

Just in case you were wondering, the repairs don’t come cheap. Samsung is going to charge $479 for replacing the interior folding screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That’s not surprising, since the foldable panel has a lot going on under that shiny surface, with multiple layers glued together and a lot of tape and pressure-sensitive adhesive holding it all together.

"Made to Last"😂! my 10 months old Z Fold 3 suddenly got a crack in the middle of the foldable screen and a black line. @SamsungMobile refused to fix it under warranty coz they found an irrelevant small scratch! Samsung Support said it's a "Fragile" phone. #samsung #fragile pic.twitter.com/v8TYCvampT

— Rami Aynati (@RamiAynati) October 28, 2022

According to Samsung’s own help page, dark blots are a result of applying more pressure than an average screen is supposed to handle. And if there is pixel bleeding, it may have been “caused by an impact to the edge of the device.”

However, users with a broken or cracked Galaxy Z Fold 3 screen say they used the device with utmost care. For one unlucky soul, the screen gave up within just a couple of months. Moderators on the Samsung community forum suggest you should ideally visit a Samsung Experience Store to get the issues resolved, instead of taking it to a third-party electronics chop shop.

Carrier partners like EE are reportedly charging as much as 571 British pounds for repairs, according to one customer. Another moderator trying to solve the dead pixel issue suggests that you restart the phone to see if goes away. If nothing happens, dial *#0*# from the default phone to launch the pixel test. If you see red, green, and blue tiles, it’s time to contact Samsung support.

Back of the open Galaxy Z Fold 3.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Samsung says its warranty program “covers software and hardware defects, so any issues that fall into these categories will be repaired free of charge.” However, if Samsung support surmises that the damage is a result of physical mishandling or liquid spills, you might be charged for the repairs.

Either way, it’s not a good look, especially when Samsung made bold claims about the Galaxy Z Fold’s UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) layer lasting for at least a few years of usage, and not breaking within a few months. I’ve also noticed that the newer Galaxy Fold 4‘s inner foldable panel produces a cracking sound in cold weather, which again doesn’t sound very reassuring from a durability perspective. And as we’ve seen before, even the Fold 4 is susceptible to a nasty broken screen.

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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