Despite only putting the Pixel Fold through what he describes as "the lightest possible usage of a phone," the bottom portion of Amadeo's Pixel Fold display now shows pure white, with a small band of pixels above also displaying brighter than normal. The affected pixels also no longer respond to taps, making the screen further unusable.
After examining the phone, Amadeo believes he's found a possible explanation near the display's edge. As this close-up image shows, there's a gap between the Pixel Fold's bezel and the plastic screen protector where the bare glass laminate display is exposed. A small speck of dust is visible in this tiny intermediate area, which Amadeo thinks likely punctured the display at some point when he folded the phone closed.
This gap between the screen protector and bezel is common on foldable phones. But unlike other foldables where the bezel is raised to stop both sides of the inner display from touching, the Pixel Fold's bezels are much shorter, meaning more potential contact between one side of the screen and the other when shut.
Hopefully a very rare case
It's a good idea with any foldable to take extra care not to leave visible specs of dirt on the inside display, in order to avoid damage. That advice apparently needs an addendum to focus on the protector/bezel gap in particular with the Pixel Fold, lest your display meet the same fate as Amadeo's.
In our own Pixel Fold review, we didn't come across this problem. In fact, we liked it so much that we named it the top foldable phone in our Tom's Guide Awards 2023 phones category after concluding it beats the previous champion, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, in several key areas. However, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 hasn't suffered a catastrophic display failure from such a small source of damage as far as we know.
Today marks the official retail launch of the Google Pixel Fold, and if you're confident you won't meet the same fate as this one reviewer, we have a guide on Pixel Fold pre-orders if you still want to get your order in just before the deadline (but watch out for possible cancelations).
However, hopefully this story shows you why you need to be absolutely sure you're ready for a foldable before buying one. As useful and exciting as they are to use, they're still expensive and delicate pieces of tech that need more care than you may expect.
At least Google's just announced it'll offer an easy way to buy spares for DIY repair of the Pixel Fold.