Galaxy Fold vertical conceptSource: Samsung

What you need to know

  • Samsung is building out multiple folding form-factors, with its second looking to be a classic "clamshell" design like flip phones of old.
  • This second Galaxy Fold concept was debuted alongside One UI 2, hinting that its release could be sooner rather than later, given that One UI 2 is already in beta on the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.
  • This new form-factor could be cheaper and more readily available than the existing Galaxy Fold.

Samsung may not have invented the foldable form factor, but it's certainly one of the foremost pioneers in making a foldable phone that works and feels like a brand new type of device. While the current-generation Galaxy Fold leaves a bit to be desired in many areas, one can't deny that foldable devices are an interesting concept. Given the right implementation, foldable phones could one day become a mainstream success.

The new foldable device brings back memories of foldable clamshell-style phones of old. As rumors have suggested, this design looks to sport a tall nearly 7-inch display that folds in half horizontally instead of vertically, bringing back the good old 'snap-to-hang-up' action. What's the idea here? For one, it looks like this form-factor could debut at a less outrageous price than the existing Galaxy Fold, which goes for nearly $2,000 dollars.

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It's also a proven form-factor that people loved using for years, and given Samsung's limited-run supply of Galaxy Folds, could prove to be a far better option in retail stores. Little else is known about the device other than that Samsung debuted it alongside One UI 2 at the show, hinting that the release could happen much sooner than we might expect. In fact, this phone looks, arguably, like a Galaxy Note 10 that's been folded in half, complete with a punch-hole camera right in the top-center of the display.

It's clear that Samsung isn't content with bringing just a single form-factor to market though, as evidenced by the unveiling of a new form factor at the Samsung Developer Conference 2019 (SDC 2019). In fact, Samsung isn't even calling these devices phones at all; they're aiming to make them an entirely new product category in and of themselves.

That makes sense since traditional apps don't necessarily make a lot of sense on these types of screens. Case in point, typing can be a bit awkward on the existing Galaxy Fold while it's in the open position, so keyboards need to be modified and split to create a more comfortable experience. Likewise, other types of apps will work best when they're modified to work differently on foldable devices or, better yet, designed from the ground-up to function specifically for a hybrid form-factor.

Samsung Galaxy Fold review: Potential and promise, not a product