We're learning that the Google Pixel Fold, while being in users' hands for less than three days, is suffering from various types of display damage, thanks to user reports from Reddit (via DigitalTrends).
We already had one broken screen report from a reviewer a couple of days ago, but now that the phone the Pixel Fold has started shipping to regular consumers, a lot more complaints are appearing online.
To be clear, we have not experienced any of the below issues with our review unit, but there are enough incidents being reported now that there is cause for concern. We have included a brief comment from Google below and we are following up to get more information.
Dents in the screen
These faults vary in type and severity. One user named cptultor has complained of small dents in the inner display, between the edge of the screen protector and the bezel. This is an area where the raw inside screen is exposed, so damage here could lead to more problems, as we saw with the earlier damage report.
Screen protector lifting and scratching
A report from crazymojo83 has noted a peeling screen protector on their Pixel Fold, lifting off down the length of the display crease, and what appears to be internal scratching on one half of the display. The user claims they've only opened the phone three times, which is certainly not a lot of use to generate such dramatic-looking damage.
Line of pink pixels
A third user, marcusr_uk, has reported a pink line running horizontally across the inside display of the Pixel Fold. It initially only flashed this line across the screen while in use, but soon after it became fixed in place. Resetting the phone apparently didn't fix the issue.
Again, our own Pixel Fold review unit hasn't suffered from any problems with its display, or any other part of it. If that changes we'll be sure to let you know.
The Verge got a statement from Google on the matter, although it didn't say much. Spokesperson Alex Moriconi is quoted as saying: "We recommend anyone having an issue reach out to support to investigate," which is certainly good advice, though something we'd imagine most users with faulty Pixel Folds will already have done.
We have reached out to Google for additional comment about the Pixel Fold’s screen issues and will update this report if we hear back.
Phone makers put effort into making their foldables both flexible and durable, but they still can't match standard smartphones for toughness or water/dust resistance. You definitely need to take extra care with how you treat a new foldable, but the problems with the Pixel Fold either seem like horrible luck, or a potential indication that Google's foldable is more damage-prone than the typical foldable phone.
Something of a silver lining is that the Pixel Fold looks easier to repair than other foldable phones. Google's promised to supply its partner iFixit with genuine Pixel Fold parts and repair guides that can be bought easily online, meaning you at least have the choice of in-store, mail-in or self-repair if your Pixel Fold also suffers from screen damage.