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Foldable 'Galaxy X' could debut this year — in prototype form

While foldable phones probably won't hit the mass market until 2019, Samsung may be prepared to unveil such a device in prototype form before the end of the year.

Korean outlet The Investor reports that Samsung has already placed orders for the components necessary for "2,000-3,000" prototype devices. The phones, reportedly part of its "Project Valley" endeavor to create a foldable handset, are referred in today's piece as "Galaxy X."

Samsung's foldable prototype is said to use two panels with a hinge in the middle.

"The prototype that can be folded open 180 degrees reportedly features a pair of [OLED] panels that are connected with a hinge in the middle," the article says.

And that's a crucial detail: A true "foldable" phone of the type discussed by Samsung Display execs at a recent event would make use of a single foldable panel. The prototype in today's report would use two separate panels with a hinge, likely making use of the "bezel-less" AMOLED tech already used in the Galaxy S8. Slim bezels around the hinge would be important in reducing the visibility of the gap between the two sides.

"Samsung seems to be testing the waters with the dual-screen device to gather ideas about its upcoming foldable phone," The Investor's source is quoted as saying.

It's unclear whether these devices would actually go on sale. If Samsung did sell them, it's likely that, like the Galaxy Round of old, they'd have an extremely limited (likely Korea-only) release.

A true "foldable" smartphone — one with a single, seamless AMOLED screen, is the ultimate goal of the project. Even if this "Galaxy X" doesn't technically meet that standard, it'll be an important opportunity for Samsung to debut its work publicly, and build on feedback before any mass market launch.

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • This is the Galaxy I have been looking for.
  • Seriously. Please. i can't wait for this...
  • ...features a pair of [OLED] panels that are connected with a hinge in the middle," the article says. I doubt that...
  • How many times have I heard this lol
  • it is also rumored that Microsoft is making a surface phone which can run Win32 application which are not virtualized
  • "Yes, I'm always sitting there wishing that I could fold my phone up."
    - No one, ever
  • But it's half the length and twice as thick.
    Seriously give me a phone that just thin rolled up screen. FTW
  • Hey there Luddite, I was wondering when you might show up!
  • It's not about folding the phone up. It's about opening the phone up. Personally, I would love to have a phone that opened to a larger, tablet-size screen when I wanted it.
  • Still probably a few years away but good to see companies trying to see what's next in smartphone design. I think the bezel less displays and other minor improvement will carry thru for next couple of years.
  • Why? Why is it so important to have a foldable phone? From what I have seen, I don't see it's actual value, unless you think "novelty" is actual value.