Never use a protective film on foldable phones – Here is why


Foldable Phones

It is quite common for mobile phones to come with protective films out of the box. For devices that do not have protective films, many users eventually buy a third – party protective film to protect the glass. This is mostly true for straight screen mobile phones but can we say the same for foldable phones? In Asia, there is a long list of mobile phone brands with foldable devices. Some of these phones are on sale in Europe, India and other parts of the world. In the U.S., Google recently joined Samsung as the second brand with a foldable phone. This means that all the major mobile phone markets in the world now have at least a foldable phone on the shelf.

Foldable Phones
Source: Engadget

However, is it safe to use a protective film on a foldable phone? A Huawei executive gives the answer. Of course, we all know that Huawei and Samsung are the first two popular brands to release foldable phones back in 2019. Thus, we can consider Huawei to be pretty experienced in the foldable phone field. According to Huawei CTO, Bruce Lee, there is no need for users to place a protective film on their foldable phones.

He said that he has seen that there are many protective films for foldable phones on the Internet. He calls on all users not to use them. This is because foldable phones already come with a layer of protective film from the factory. Thus, there is really no need to paste another layer of protective film on the foldable phone. He also calls on all foldable phone users never to tear off the original protective film that comes with the device.

Why is an extra layer of protective film dangerous?

Bruce Lee said that the material, thickness and force of each layer of the folding screen are the optimal results after careful calculation and verification. If the force model is changed, the life of the screen will be greatly shortened. In fact, the user may even lose the free warranty that comes with the phone. If the original protective film is damaged, you can go to the after-sales service centre to replace it. For Huawei, he claims that each foldable phone has two slots to replace the protective film for free.

Foldable Phones

At present, Huawei is the largest foldable phone brand in China, accounting for more than half of the market share. As early as 2019, Huawei launched related products, and they were steadily updated in the following years.

Huawei’s current foldable screen mobile phone products on sale include Huawei Mate X3, Huawei Mate Xs 2, Huawei P50 Pocket, Huawei Pocket S, etc., with prices ranging from 5,000 yuan ($719) / 6,000 yuan ($862) to over 10,000 yuan ($1,437). Huawei has quite a long list of foldable phones which is quite rich.

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Screen damage from removing the original protective film

We have seen a couple of foldable phone screen issues that were a result of removing the original protective film. The earliest of these dates back to 2019 when Samsung launched the maiden Samsung Galaxy Fold. After the launch of the Galaxy Fold, this device first hit the hands of several reviews and tech experts for some sort of assessment. Unfortunately, most of the early reviews of the Galaxy Fold removed the protective film because it “seems removable”. However, the consequence of removing the original film was a series of complaints that followed due to a defective screen.

Well, most of these users did not read the Samsung Galaxy Fold instructions, how often do we read instructions? Samsung clearly stated that the protective film should not be removed. At the time, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman removed the protective film on the display of the Galaxy Fold and his device malfunctioned. Even if the protective film appears removable, never do such or you might just be exposing your device to serious issues.

Obviously, the display of the foldable phone as Huawei CTO noted is closely integrated with the thin film on its surface. Thus, when users remove the thin protective film, it affects the display.

Foldable Phones
Source: Engadget

How to protect your foldable phone display

To prevent screen damage, users should follow some guidelines. These guidelines are listed below 

1. Foldable phone users should keep the protective film of foldable phones intact and not remove it.

2. Avoid applying any additional screen protectors, as this can cause damage to the screen.

3. Avoid exposing the device to extreme temperatures, as this can cause damage to the screen.

4. Handle the device with care and avoid applying excessive pressure on the screen.

5. Avoid “roadside” technicians for repairs, if users do experience screen damage, they can get it repaired on official channels.

The cost of repair depends on the extent of the damage and whether the device is covered by warranty. However, prevention is always better than cure, and users should take steps to prevent screen damage in the first place.

Final Words (Editor’s Comment)

I believe that most people are tempted to remove the protective film because it “looks removable”. Please, don’t do that. Also, do not remove the film because you need to put in a “better one”. The result of this is usually not satisfactory. Once you remove the original protective film, you will likely lose the warranty of the display. So, be careful. Foldable phones are revolutionary devices that have been designed to provide users with a unique experience. However, the screen is one of the most vulnerable and expensive parts of this device. Hence, it should be handled with extreme care. 

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