Samsung’s Folding Galaxy Smartphone Concept Bends All the Rules


The smartphone is altering. From the pocket-sized units of yore, our telephones have grown into surrogate laptops for work on the go, and pseudo televisions for watching Netflix on planes. Samsung, the corporate that pioneered the “phablet,” thinks it is time for one thing new. Something even greater. Specifically, a cellphone that unfolds like a guide to disclose a second, bigger display inside.

Samsung confirmed off its future-phone idea beneath dimmed lights at its annual developer convention immediately in San Francisco. The cellphone unfurls to supply a 7.3-inch versatile show for studying, watching tv, or multi-tasking with a number of apps.

Samsung SVP of cell product advertising Justin Denison exhibits off the folding cellphone prototype within the open place. The lights had been purposely stored dimmed to focus on the display, and to obscure the main points of the {hardware} design.

Eric Risberg/AP

“When it’s open, it’s a tablet offering a big-screen experience,” mentioned Justin Denison, Samsung’s SVP of cell product advertising. “When closed, it’s a phone that fits neatly inside your pocket.”

For now, it is nonetheless only a idea. Samsung declined to share a reputation for the product or a timeline for its launch, and Denison rapidly tucked the system again into his pocket after giving attendees a 20-second look. But not like Samsung’s earlier makes an attempt to make a bendable cellphone, this one appears to have endurance. Google introduced immediately that Android will formally help bending display designs, promising to create a “seamless” cell expertise for this and future units that fall into the brand new class of “foldables.”

For years, Samsung has pushed show know-how to the sting, curving shows, shrinking bezels, and squishing pixels. Also, it proved individuals would purchase a cellphone too massive to carry with one hand, and adjusted the course of smartphone design for years to return. Maybe it could possibly do this once more with a flexible cellphone.

Flex Zone

Samsung has been making an attempt to drag off a versatile cellphone since no less than 2011, when it first confirmed off a dual-screen handset with a creaseless show. (Shoutout to this nice piece of promoting from a number of years later.) The pitch, each then and now, was a cellphone with extra actual property to do the issues a contemporary cellphone ought to do: watch tv, chat with video, multitask between a number of apps. Two screens as an alternative of 1 makes your cellphone much more of a pocketable pc.

The dream has been round for years, although it hasn’t caught as much as actuality. Other firms, like Lenovo, Huawei, and LG, have every tried their hand at making a foldable smartphone; simply final month, electronics start-up Royole debuted its personal take, referred to as the FlexPai. But none of these prototypes have caught, partly as a result of designing a dual-screen cellphone comes with loads of compromises. Double the display means double the pressure in your battery, and few apps are optimized to utilize all that display area. Samsung’s earlier designs, nearer to the scale of a Kindle than an iPhone, by no means even made it to market.

But Denison and different Samsung executives say show know-how has improved to the purpose the place it is now potential to fuse an ultra-thin display onto the foldable design. Also, an replace to Galaxy’s UI will assist take advantage of all that new display real-estate. Samsung says customers can run as much as three apps concurrently with a characteristic referred to as “multi-active window.”

Less clear are the main points about how a foldable cellphone like this one will stack as much as rigid-phone rivals, together with Samsung’s present line of Galaxy telephones. Plus, it is not clear that the demand is there for a dual-screen cell. Chinese phone-maker ZTE just lately tried it with the Axon M, which you doubtless forgot all about till proper now. The key to cracking the dual-screen future gained’t simply be mastering the engineering or design, however convincing customers they want such a factor of their lives.


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