Think the Samsung Edge display is cool?. Something cooler could be coming very soon. Samsung has been working on foldable displays for a number of years. And the South Korean giant might finally be ready to showcase its first completely flexible smartphone in 2018.
Information about the phone, which has been dubbed the Galaxy X or “Treble Eight,” has slowly trickled out. Here’s everything we think we know about it so far.
If a foldable, flexible-screened phone sounds like science fiction, and therefore a long way away, don’t be discouraged. Samsung’s bendy phone may be much closer to release than you think. In its end-of-2017 financial report. It made reference to flexible and folding screens several times, teasing us with a near-future debut. While discussing short-to-mid term advancements in mobile. Samsung said it intends to, “differentiate its smartphones by adopting cutting-edge technologies, such as foldable OLED displays.
The message continues later, this time under its display business forecasts. Asing on products for its flagship smartphones. No actual product is discussed, but the building blocks.The approximate time frame neatly fits in with other rumors.
Previously, The Investor reported Samsung is prepping the Galaxy X for production and eventual release in late 2018.Or early 2019; something apparently confirmed by Samsung’s president of mobile business. DJ Koh, according to ZDNet. It’s reported that Samsung showed off the Galaxy X at a private event at CES 2018. And that the Galaxy X would likely be Samsung’s most expensive smartphone ever.
Samsung Galaxy X: Design
Back in July 2016, Patently Mobile released several sets of images illustrating Samsung’s foldable phone and tablet concepts. While they’ve restricted fellow tech sites from borrowing more than one image set at a time (see below), a full range of images can be found here.
More recently, in November 2017, SamMobile released images it suggested could be “our closest look” at the Galaxy X via Dutch site GalaxyClub. The images show a hinged device, not unlike that of Microsoft’s Surface Book, suggesting that it might sport a similar small cavity when folded over. Nonetheless, it’s an unprecedented piece of smartphone technology.
So why make it foldable? The recent big trend in smartphones has been curved edge displays; the Samsung S8 and iPhone X typify that current mode. Sprawling screens are the order of the day, so it makes sense to push display capabilities to their limits, with faces that can bend and stretch.
Samsung isn’t alone in testing foldable screen technology. Apple has reportedly procured a patent for a foldable smartphone in November last year. Lenovo and LG have also been deemed forerunners
in the unlikely quest for foldable phones. Samsung might just clinch the first major product, however. So what do we know about the Galaxy X? Keep reading to find out all the rumours, news and specs.
Patents filed by Samsung have been the only real clues as to the Galaxy X’s eventual design we have so far. A previous patent from Samsung Display was registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office at the end of September 2016. The diagrams included are dated mid-June and show a clamshell-like device that resembles a makeup compact, folding out into a traditional rectangular smartphone shape.
A camera lens is shown on the top of the closed clamshell, an area that becomes the rear of the unfolded phone. A selfie camera and speaker are shown in the inside top of the phone.
More interestingly, the bottom of the screen appears to have a curved edge that’s visible when the phone is closed. It might serve as an information and notification ticker, rather than a secondary display on the back of the device. Samsung already uses the Edge screen on the Galaxy S8 in a similar way.
Before this, a different patent filed by Samsung showed how a folded and unfolded Galaxy X might operate. For example, as Patently Mobile reports, a user could touch an icon on the edge area of the phone so that the app will be open once the device is unfolded. According to the patent, multiple user profiles will also be displayed on the edge area, allowing for multiple users to enter their password to access their information — all from the device’s edge. It’s important to note that this patent was filed in November, but was not made public until now.
Samsung Galaxy X: Features
Whilst the Galaxy X wasn’t launched per seat MWC 2017, word on the street was that selected press and partners were permitted a sneaky peak of the device. All very hush-hush, of course.
Nonetheless, rumors began circulating shortly thereafter, with a Super AMOLED display with flexible capabilities expected to be the Galaxy X’s defining feature. Further details suggested that the Galaxy X will offer a 5in display that can be folded outwards, transforming the smartphone into a 7in miniature tablet.
All this makes us reminiscent of the days of 2010 when critics snubbed Samsung’s original Galaxy Note, deeming its 5.3in screen too big. Fast-forward a few years and you’ll see that big, beautiful screens are a spec du jour. A 5.3in screen might even seem paltry to some, with the ill-fated Note 7 sporting a monstrous 5.7in display. The extendable/contractible feature on the Galaxy X might just broaden Samsung’s audience appeal: from the clammy grasper favoring an easy-to-hold phone to the wide-eyed tablet enthusiast, it’s got dimensions for everyone, and they’re adaptable to boot.
Samsung Galaxy X: How likely is it?
Rumours abounded that the Galaxy X was debuted during a top-secret demo at Mobile World Congress back in February 2017, and similar reports point to a behind-closed-doors showcase at CES 2018.
Even more tantalizingly, there’s an unnamed Samsung handset being passed through the Bluetooth device regulatory body. Its model number – SM-G888NO – doesn’t give masses away, but we’re holding out hope that the foldable smartphone is in development.
Indeed, we know Samsung has filed a trademark for the Galaxy X brand with South Korea’s Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS). South Korea being, of course, the home of the Samsung brand. This is coupled with patents and leaked designs of bendable screen technology, all of which points towards the Samsung Galaxy X becoming the company’s first foldable phone.