Foldable phones are one of those pieces of tech that are still in my “let the bleeding-edge hypesters with more money than sense sort out the problems for me” file. Samsung’s behaviour is crappy but not unexpected. If some fool paid me a premium for a fragile new gadget in an effectively untested category I might also assume I could get away with not honouring the warranty.
I think I would like to see a video (in FF) of a robot, testing how many times these displays can be folded.
I imagine it being a bit like one of those tape drive robots at a long-term low-speed data storage.
Also, I would like to see the data on this.
So I had an interesting experience - I’ve got a Samsung Z Flip 3 as a backup/testing phone. I do some dev work and need both iOS and Android devices and figured “why not” with regards to the Flip 3 since it’s not my primary phone.
When I received it (direct from Samsung Canada), I noticed a small ding in the front bezel. It was minor, but that’s not something you want to see on a new phone. So I tried contacting them about it. Sent them multiple photos, and explained that was what it looked like out of the box. The initial support rep was very understanding, but I never heard anything back from them on it. I tried following up a couple weeks later, and still nothing.
Since it wasn’t my main phone I kind of forgot about it and got on with life. But about 2 months later I noticed two semi-circular black dots had appeared near the fold/crease in the screen. So, log another ticket with Samsung, send in photos of the screen, and they immediately send me a box in which to return the phone. 3-4 days later I get my phone back. Screen is fixed, and … there’s no longer a dent in the bezel either.
So kind of the opposite of the story above. But I think I’m an edge case - given my previous experiences with Samsung Canada’s support I was completely surprised that things worked out the way that they did.
Still wouldn’t buy one as my personal phone though. Aside from the fragile screen, the battery life is not at all good. Also, I got it for a steal - Samsung was doing their usual crazy trade-in offer and gave me $500+ CAD for a very old Samsung phone, plus a couple hundred dollars discount on top of that. Definitely don’t buy a Samsung phone, foldable or otherwise, for full price.
Aside from being obviously designed to fail, what possible advantage do these folding phones offer? Between tablets, oversized phones and regular-to-small phones, there is literally every imaginable screen size available. I have a hard time imagining a use scenario in which a larger screen is imperative, but storage or handling absolutely requires a smaller package. It just seems like an answer in search of a question.
I was using Samsung phones up until the ninth iteration of the Galaxy Plus only because they allowed me to put a big cheap micro SD card in it. Since they’ve given in to the abominable trend of doing away with user-expandable storage in the sleazy pursuit of driving users to their cloud so they can mine their data or pay through the nose for storage upgrades, my only reason for using them is gone. When my current phone starts dying, I’ll probably get cheaper Pixel for the better camera to take way too many cat pictures.
I’m shocked they are still making those. We got an late model prototype of it in our office a few years ago (because we’re a developer), and the screen was damaged in the crease on arrival and it never worked totally right. It got slowly worse in the first few months, losing more and more pixels around the fold. We never even used it. It sat motionless on the QA Lead’s desk, falling apart on its own.
We all assumed this would be off the market in six months because of how clearly not ready this technology was. I’m shocked years later you can still buy them
Originally published at: Man frames his broken phone along with Samsung's letter of refusal to honor the warranty | Boing Boing
Ever since the late 90’s, I’ve wanted one of the globals from Earth: Final Conflict, a rigid tablet that unrolls like a scroll. But this is a long way from that and even it doesn’t work very well, so no way am I going to be Samsung’s guinea pig.
Whatever your opinion of the buyer, I think letting a global megacorp off the hook for not honoring their warranty with a shrug and “What’d you expect?” is a pretty bad precedent.
I’m not letting them off the hook. I’m pointing out that a company that sells a half-baked product at a premium likely wouldn’t have any compunction about denying a warranty repair on a basis as flimsy as the screen.
The current foldable phones are a good improvement over past ones but yeah as of now i still have no desire to product test that nonsense.
Buying an expensive hipster device to show off even though pretty much everyone (including Samsung who wrote the damn warranty) knew those screens would take serious damage over time from being folded let alone can’t be fitted with a proper protector because of the design of the phone and it’s screen…
This is what I did (and it’s effin’ fabulous for cat pictures, plus other pictures!). Sadly it also doesn’t have an SD card, but I did a massive spreadsheet workup comparing features of recent model phones and concluded the Pixel 5 was the sweet spot for me. Riiiiiiiight at the time they ran out of new ones, so I got a used one for cheap and haven’t looked back.
I ended up getting the Galaxy s22 plus, i’ve really liked the Samsung phones’ camera quality and capabilities. Other phones are likely just as good but i know what i know so sticking with what’s worked for me. I was tempted to get the S22 ultra but the only thing i was interested in that model was just the better camera, the larger phone size, stylus and other features would’ve been wasted on me.
- Does it fit in one’s pocket?
- Is the screen large enough to watch a movie, or read a book, or play a game, or simply do work, and enjoy the experience?
A bigger screen is nice for older eyes. They also display more data at a time, making it easier to read without paging constantly. I’d love my iPhone Max to be even bigger than it is, but I don’t want to carry “bigger”.
Something about tech I’ve learned over the years is “Just because I can’t think of a use for a thing doesn’t mean that others don’t have a use for it.” That’s especially true when a lot of us come at these products with a very ableist mindset.
For a really good example, someone was recently mocking electronic pregnancy testers, like “can’t you read the instructions? You pee on it, wait 7 minutes, then look at color of the line, how hard can it be?” Consider a very scared young woman, possibly afraid of an abusive partner or parents, and who sneaks off to a bathroom to run the test. If you get the timing wrong, you get bad results. If the lighting is poor, you get bad results. A lot of things can go wrong, especially when you’re frightened.
Asking “why” someone needs a thing isn’t the right question.
I was surprised when Samsung went ahead with their folding phones, as it was pretty clear they weren’t durable enough to be an actual consumer product. The warranty was only going to work for them if they didn’t honor it, otherwise everyone would be returning their phones for repairs on a regular basis.
The way they sold it still feels incredibly dishonest, though. Everyone knew it was not terribly durable (to put it mildly) but the supposedly generous warranty was there to make up for it, and the high price reflected that. Except obviously they never had any intention of honoring the warranty, making it essentially a scam.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Using both Microsoft and Apple as examples going all the way back to the Zune/ipod or MS surface/ipads, Lots of their 1st gen (or later gen! Remember the “thicker and heavier” iPad 3 reliability issues?) products were lemons, but the one thing they did a great job of was taking them back or swapping them out no questions asked (basically as long as you didn’t send them for a swim).
IMHO a big part of the reason early adopters will drop a bazillion dollars on new gear is the trust relationship that if it’s a lemon these companies will make it right.