Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 owners are reporting a serious screen flaw — and some models are breaking

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 front in hands

The Galaxy Z Fold 4.

(Image credit: Future)

Update 03/26/2024: Samsung has reached out with the following statement: "Samsung is committed to providing the best possible mobile experience to customers and conduct a series of rigorous, industry-validated tests designed specifically to simulate real-world conditions. We encourage customers with questions regarding their Samsung device to contact their local Customer Service representative."

Original story follows:

Some Galaxy Z Fold 4 users have reported their foldable isn't opening fully, with some even reporting their screens breaking as they try to open them. 

This story appears to have originated from one user on Reddit, named ahmed1smael, who found that their Galaxy Z Fold 4 would not fully open. They managed to open the phone after four hours of cleaning the hinge mechanism. 

According to the post, the blockage appeared to be comprised of the same bristles and tape that fit the brushes that line the hinge. 

These brushes have been a part of the hinge design since the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Their purpose is to clear out dirt and debris from the hinge as is opened and closed. However, the reports seem to indicate that the glue that holds these brushes in place is starting to wear away. while there is no official word on what is causing this to happen the culprit appears to be heat-based. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 with mirrored home screens on the inner and outer displays

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One Redditor, who reported waiting for their fourth hinge replacement found that their phone would not open after playing a game for a few minutes on full brightness. Another user posted on X that his phone’s hinge was suddenly faulty after leaving it next to a hot tub.

It isn’t only users on Reddit who have reported the problem. Known tipster Evan Bless has also reported that his Z Fold 4 has the same issue. Evan was adamant it had nothing to do with user error due to the care he takes with his devices, and was instead a design defect. 

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Concerningly, it appears that Samsung is either unaware of the fault, or refuses to view it as a manufacturing issue. Several users have stated that Samsung Experience has refused to repair the device under warranty, and has even used small scratches to the charging port or bezels as a reason to refuse warranty repair.

Thankfully, it seems unlikely that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will have the same issue due to the new hinge design. While it is concerning that this fault appears to be relatively widespread it does seem there are a few measures users can take to avoid having any problems. 

The main thing is to avoid keeping the phone near any excessive heat sources, as well as to keep the hinge area as clear as possible. Do not try to clear it out manually if there is a fault, as this can damage the phone, and will make claiming your warranty impossible.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer. 

  • bobbydrake50
    My Fold 4 broke about 2 weeks ago. Suddenly developed a black line down the middle of the inside screen and would only work with the pen not my finger (plus it wouldn't completely open). As it was out of warranty the Samsung store wouldn't do anything. Its certainly put my off buying a folding phone again as I didn't even use the inner screen that much and I looked after the phone too.
    Reply
  • scromie
    My Fold 3 broke a couple of weeks ago and I had multiple problems trying to get it fixed. The screen acted just as you describe the hinge was a bit stiff and I pushed which in turn caused the screen fold a problem.
    My first problem was I had bought the phone in Australia while I had been living there and I am now living in the UK. It had to be the team there to agree to replace the screen under warranty and there was no guarantee.
    The UK team said they would not honour it due to a small scratch on the side.After listening to the other people in the experience centre talking to the support team with their problems I have decided to not pay to return the phone to Australia as I believe the warranty would not be honoured. I am really disappointed with Samsung as I have been a long term fan however no more.
    Reply
  • diancalorU
    My Fold 4 has the same issue. Samsung did not accept the problem. The phone is not cheap. And it's still under 1yr warranty but they did not recognized the issue. I gor my phone from Philippines Smart Telecoms. I am really frustrated. ;(
    Reply
  • noor76
    My Samsung galaxy fold 4 was exactly 11 months old working perfectly,got up 1 morning opened the phone saw this black line in the centre only to find out it was the LCD.lucky it's under warranty but now I ask what will happen in another 9 months will it happen again and of no warranty who has 17k to replace the LCD.Its ridiculous you look after ur stuff,and what upsets me is the fact that Samsung has over a dozen questions before rye repair.acknowledge there is a fault tell the customers prior to purchasing this on contract cos now u stuck with a phone for 24 or 36 months that breaks on his own.I will never recommend anybody to buy a Samsung fold it's a good phone but poor quality regarding the lcd.
    Reply
  • bobbydrake50
    noor76 said:
    My Samsung galaxy fold 4 was exactly 11 months old working perfectly,got up 1 morning opened the phone saw this black line in the centre only to find out it was the LCD.lucky it's under warranty but now I ask what will happen in another 9 months will it happen again and of no warranty who has 17k to replace the LCD.Its ridiculous you look after ur stuff,and what upsets me is the fact that Samsung has over a dozen questions before rye repair.acknowledge there is a fault tell the customers prior to purchasing this on contract cos now u stuck with a phone for 24 or 36 months that breaks on his own.I will never recommend anybody to buy a Samsung fold it's a good phone but poor quality regarding the lcd.
    Yeah, mine was 18 months old but barely used the inside screen and looked after the phone well. I was well out of warranty so pretty expensive for a 18 month use of a phone. Certainly won't ever purchase a folding phone again as too much potential to develop a fault.
    Reply