The Pixel Fold is already breaking, and it looks bad

A Google Pixel Fold with a broken screen protector and scratches running across the screen.
u/crazymojo83 / Reddit

The Google Pixel Fold has been out for a total of one day. And after being on the market for about 24 hours, we’re already seeing a lot of reports of the phone completely breaking for some unlucky owners.

Take a quick look at Reddit, and it doesn’t take long to find horror stories from Pixel Fold early adopters. User crazymojo83 posted the above photo on the r/PixelFold subreddit yesterday evening. They say that five hours after setting up their Pixel Fold, the factory-installed screen protector started peeling, and there are “what looks to be like scratches on the inside.” This all supposedly happened after the Pixel Fold was opened just three times.

Google Pixel Fold with a pink line running through the display.
u/marcusr_uk / Reddit

But that’s not the only report. On the r/GooglePixel subreddit, u/marcusr_uk got to use their Pixel Fold for a total of two hours before it also broke on them. As they explain on Reddit, “I saw a brief flash of a bright pink line once or twice, but hoped for the best, but then as I was sat browsing the web, this bright neon pink line appeared from edge to edge and has survived a software reset.”

You can see that neon pink line in the photo above. It doesn’t look good.

Redditor cptultor on the r/GooglePixel subreddit reported Pixel Fold issues of their own, saying they already noticed “very small dents and surface imperfections between the bezel and the screen protector, the gutter area” after using the foldable for about a day.

A Google Pixel Fold with a broken display.
Ars Technica

And these aren’t even the worst Pixel Fold damage reports we’ve seen. On June 26, Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica wrote about how his Pixel Fold died after using the thing for just four days. In his case, some sort of debris got caught in between the Pixel Fold’s screen protector and the bezel — right where the actual display is exposed. When the phone was closed, the debris punctured the display and caused the screen to freak out.

Although we’ve not experienced any such issues with our Pixel Fold review unit, we have noticed a popping sound with the hinge when opening the phone. The inner display still looks great, but it’s something we’re keeping an eye on.

Is any of this surprising? Not really. Folding phones are very hard to make, and this is Google’s first go at it. Samsung had a hell of a time with the first Galaxy Fold, and for all the improvements that have been made with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 we have today, they aren’t impervious to breaking either.

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian laying flat on a planter.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

These photos and reports don’t look good, but that certainly doesn’t mean every Pixel Fold is going to break within a matter of days. Reviews for the phone have been quite positive, and there are plenty of other Reddit posts and tweets from people seeming quite happy with their purchase.

There will be a couple of things to watch for in the coming weeks and months. Do these reports of breaking Pixel Folds keep flooding the internet, and more aggressively than we’ve seen with recent Samsung folding phones? And, more importantly, how does Google handle these issues as they arise?

Will sending a broken Pixel Fold back to Google for a repair or refund be a streamlined, easy process? Or will it be a customer service nightmare? Early reports of broken Pixel Folds like this don’t create a good first impression, but how serious they are (or aren’t) will be answered in due time.

But hey! If your Pixel Fold does kick the bucket, at least you can repair it yourself.

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