It seems Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn’t impervious to cracks after all. PhoneArena reported this week on an email from a reader complaining that their Z Fold 3 had suffered nasty damage down the middle of the inside panel, right along where the 7.6-inch display creases. Of course, this happened after the device’s one-year warranty.
This isn’t the first report of something like this happening—and certainly not the first since the Z Fold 3 launched in 2021. If you look on the Galaxy Fold sub-Reddit, you can easily find multiple recent reports of folks claiming the screens on their respective foldables have cracked. There’s even evidence of it in various Samsung community forums.
In the case of the cracked Z Fold 3, the user who reached out to PhoneArena got in touch with Samsung, which referred them to UBreakiFix, an insurance company-owned technology repair shop with locations throughout the world. However, they quoted an $800 repair job, a massive fraction of how much the folding phone cost outright. Assuming the user purchased it at launch, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 started at the same price as last summer’s Z fold 4: a hefty $1,800. It takes a very privileged wallet-haver—or someone with a lot of trade-in credit—to afford the folding tablet phone in the first place.
The real bummer about these cracked screens is that they’re happening after the first year’s warranty is up. There are even Reddit comments admitting that they traded in their previous generation’s Fold to avoid the potential of getting a cracked screen out of warranty.
It’s been six months since I started living with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and things are fine. But I already noted in the original review that long-term durability was one of my concerns. The inside screen is quite soft, and it’s already suffered a few nicks from falling around sharp objects. I agree with PhoneArena that if you find yourself in this same situation with your Galaxy foldable, you should reach out to customer service and see how they can help—particularly if it’s out of warranty. The site also suggests using Samsung’s dedicated contact page, which supposedly emails the CEO directly. Either way, the idea is to create a paper trail.
If you are buying a foldable and feel uneasy about the potential for this to happen down the line, consider investing in Samsung Care+. It makes it cheaper to fix the smartphones if they crack—it’s about $30 within warranty for a new screen on the Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4, and between $350-$500 out of warranty. You can pay monthly for the service or upfront when you purchase your device. Granted, giving yet more money to Samsung to protect yourself from a faulty product is not an ideal fix.
Gizmodo has reached out to Samsung for comment and will update this story if we hear back.