Could fold­able phones be­come a re­al­ity?

Sam­sung has been work­ing on fold­able phones for years. Marie Brewis re­veals what we know about the Galaxy X

Android Advisor - - Contents -

What is a fold­able phone?

A fold­able phone is ex­actly as it sounds, one that ei­ther folds in­ward (like a clamshell phone) or out­ward and re­veals a tablet-like de­vice when stretched out. This is pos­si­ble with the use of a bend­able (rather than flex­i­ble, as seen in the Galaxy S7 edge) OLED panel.

Sam­sung, Len­ovo and LG have each showed off bend­able dis­plays and de­vices at var­i­ous in­dus­try events, and have reg­is­tered many patents for the technology. Pre­vi­ously called Project Val­ley, Sam­sung’s technology has be­come known as the Galaxy X, which may or may not be its even­tual name upon re­lease.

Sam­sung orig­i­nally worked on fold-in phones, which close up like a wal­let, but hav­ing com­pleted its work there it has moved on to fold-out phones. These should be more con­ve­nient for the user, who wouldn’t need to un­fold the phone ev­ery time they wanted to use it.

The Galaxy X was orig­i­nally ru­moured to be a 5in phone that could fold out into an 8in tablet, but it’s now sus­pected to fold out into a 7in tablet. It’s in­deed pos­si­ble that there will ac­tu­ally be two Sam­sung fold­able phones re­leased.

Ac­cord­ing to ru­mours the screen res­o­lu­tion is ex­pected to be 4K (3840x2160 pix­els), en­sur­ing that it re­mains high-res when folded. The Galaxy X could also fea­ture a dual-cam­era at the rear, and one of the lat­est Qual­comm Snap­dragon pro­ces­sors – most likely now the Snap­dragon 835. There should be a mi­croSD card slot, but the bat­tery will not be re­mov­able.

A patent ap­pli­ca­tion (op­po­site) filed by Sam­sung in late 2016 shows some ren­ders of what the even­tual Galaxy X may look like (via Sam­mo­bile).

Re­lease date

Al­though Sam­sung’s fold­able technology is said to be ready, a source close to the mat­ter told the Korea Her­ald that the de­vice has not been un­veiled be­cause of mar­ketabil­ity and prof­itabil­ity is­sues. Plans have also been held up by the po­lit­i­cal scan­dal in­volv­ing pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye and her con­fi­dante Choi Soon-sil.

How­ever, Sam­sung hopes that its fold­able phone will be un­veiled in the third quar­ter of 2017, and the com­pany will ship more than 100,000 units.

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