The mobile industry has been tracking this rumored Samsung "Galaxy X" prototype phone for several months, and while we don't even know if that's what the phone will actually be called, it's what the current rumor mill has been spitting out. In any case, here's what we know and what to look forward to with Samsung's upcoming foldable smartphone.
The foldable Galaxy news
November 11, 2018 — Samsung "Galaxy F" foldable phone could be ungodly expensive
After this week's Samsung Developer Conference gave us our first look at Samsung's foldable displays, analysts are starting to tell us how much it might cost, and the price one told The Korea Times is not for the faint of heart. Are you sitting down?
2 million won. That's how much a head brokerage researcher thinks the "Galaxy F" could approximately cost before carrier subsidies. That comes out to about $1,770 in US currency, and for that money you could buy:
- 1 Google Pixel 3 and 1 Google Pixel 3 XL
- 3 OnePlus 6Ts and 3 Bullets Wireless headphones
- 7 Moto G 6's
- 35 Google Home Mini
Scary as that number is on its own, I think what's scarier is that with smartphone prices rising higher and higher the last two years, this number might not be as over-inflated as it seems. Samsung's Infinity Flex display has taken years of costly research and refinement, and the price tag of the first Samsung phone to take use it will no doubt reflect it.
We're still months away from the release of the Galaxy X or Galaxy F or whatever the name may be, and prices — and the global economies that drive them — can change a lot before then.
November 7, 2018 — Samsung details the specs for its Galaxy X foldable phone
Samsung showed off its foldable phone earlier today, and now the manufacturer has detailed some of the key aspects of the device. As noted by CNET's Shara Tibken, the Galaxy X has a fold-out design that transforms the phone into a tablet, with the phone part featuring a 21:9 4.58-inch screen with a resolution of 1960 x 840.
In tablet mode, the screen extends to 7.3 inches with a ratio of 4.2:3 and a resolution of 2152 x 1356. The pixel density in both modes is 420 ppi.
All the big details
Samsung's folding screen tech is called "Infinity Flex"
At its 2018 Developer Conference, Samsung announced that its foldable AMOLED panel is called "Infinity Flex."
Infinity Flex consists of two different displays — a smaller one on the front that looks like a traditional phone, and when you open it up, there's a large 7.3-inch panel inside. Unlike other foldable smartphones, the actual display is bending rather than a separate hinge. That means no black bars or bezels covering the display. It's just one, gorgeous, uninterrupted screen.
Per Samsung's announcement:
Users now have the best of both worlds: a compact smartphone that unfolds to reveal a larger immersive display for multitasking and viewing content. The app experience seamlessly transitions from the smaller display to the larger display as the device unfolds. Also, users can browse, watch, connect and multitask without losing a beat, simultaneously using three active apps on the larger display.
The device seen in the pictures above is likely what we've been referring to as the "Galaxy X," but that large, chunky body isn't what it looks like. It's simply a dummy case to hide what the phone's real design, but the function of the foldable panel will work the same come launch time.
Android natively supports foldable phones
Just before Samsung's conference, Google officially announced support for foldable smartphones.
With this native support, apps will be able to adjust and rearrange themselves based on whether they're being used on the smaller display or the larger, folded-out one.
Google's referring to this process as "screen continuity" and is best to be thought of as an evolution of how elements on your screen move around when you go from portrait to landscape mode.
Mass production will begin in a few months
If you were hoping to rush out and buy Samsung's foldable phone soon, you're unfortunately going to have to wait a little while longer.
Samsung says that it'll begin mass production of its Infinity Flex displays within the coming months, meaning we're looking at a release at some point in 2019. We currently don't have anything more specific than that, and while the price is unknown, don't expect it to be cheap.