It is not the first time that Samsung is being associated with foldable phones and probably not the last time either though chances are that the South Korean manufacturer might seriously be deliberating whether such a concept, codenamed Galaxy X, will be marketable and profitable enough for a launch sometime soon.
In fact, South Korea has always been considered to be at the forefront when it comes to research on foldable displays. There has even been the talk of a huge display that can be rolled off and would serve as a digital newspaper replacing the paper stuff now in use. Of course, nothing even came close to such in reality though interestingly, such news continues to make headlines.
This time, Korea Herald that first broke the story also added a bit of skepticism claiming it might even be a big hoax as well as it has been in the past. There are no firm technical specifications to back the claims either, except that the display when fully deployed will serve as a seven-inch tablet.
There also are reported of there being two foldable phones that Samsung has up its sleeve, and that both might debut at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. Apart from one that opens up to a 7-inch tablet, the other is slightly bigger and will offer an 8-inch display when unfolded besides serving as a 5-inch smartphone.
The report also claims LG to be in the race as well, with Samsung producing about 100,000 of the foldable phones by the third quarter with LG manufacturing the same number of the foldable phones by the fourth quarter. It is not known if the two manufacturers are actually collaborating on the project, not too likely under normal circumstances but perhaps arranged for given the unpredictability that’s associated when attempting something completely new. After all, it is anybody’s guess as to how the market would react to such a device.
It might also be recalled that LG had launched a smartphone with a flexible display, the LG G Flex. It didn’t fare too well in the market, which is more reason the company will try playing it safe this time round. There is also the issue of how apps would perform in such a device even though 7-inch tablet have long been in use. However, there still might be a concern as to how the apps would be rendered once the device is folded and operated as a phone and so on.
The patent application meanwhile provides us with a glimpse of how the phone might eventually look like in real life. As has been depicted in the submitted diagrams, the phone seems a bit more elongated than the current crop of Galaxy devices, with the handset bending along the middle similar to a wallet. The phone in its bended state, however, does not make a close fit and resembles the way the Surface Book opens and closes.
As for its rumored specs, the Galaxy X is expected to come with a 4K display along with twin rear cams and a selfie cam at the front. The choice of processor could be either Snapdragon 620 or Snapdragon 820 or 830, with a 3 GB RAM to allow for peppy performance. There is likely to be a micro SD card slot as well though it is not known how much of native storage the device will come with.
Overall, the concept no doubt is interesting though there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. And we sure will like to have the doubts cleared once and for all.