Samsung Unveils Its Foldable Phone

Posted on November 7, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware, Mobile, Android with 56 Comments

Samsung, one of the biggest phone manufacturers in the world, has just announced its first ever foldable phone. This is the first mainstream foldable phone from a mainstream company, and although we have seen multiple foldable devices to date, this seems like the most promising.

Samsung’s foldable phone is built on a technology called Infinity Flex Display that allows you to fold the phone into a phone-sized screen, or open it up to use it as a tablet-sized device with a 7.3-inch display. You will be able to run 3 apps at a time on the tablet mode, too. There is no bezel between the two parts of the device, and it actually looks kind of nice.

The device Samsung showed off isn’t thin or bezel-less completely like Samsung’s Galaxy devices, though. Samsung says this is just a prototype device and the company is hiding the design elements for now, but it apparently looks gorgeous inside. However, this is how the end product should look like when it comes out in 2019:

Google today also announced that the company is building native support for foldable devices into Android, and that’s going to come in handy for companies like Samsung and others to build a universal experience that’s consistent across all the new Android foldable devices that are going to come out soon.

Samsung is expected to officially release its foldable device in 2019, which is exactly when Microsoft is expected to unveil its own foldable Surface device: Andromeda.

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Comments (56)

56 responses to “Samsung Unveils Its Foldable Phone”

  1. karlinhigh

    Next: Bi-folds! Tri-folds! Map-folds!

  2. VancouverNinja

    If it is as thick and as wide as it looks it will not fly. It almost looks as thick as a cigarette pack - is it really that deep?

  3. ivan19998

    What a nonsence

  4. roastedwookie

    meh...looks nice but I see no value in it considering the fact that it will cost a fortune and it will offer nothing more than a foldable screen compared to an S10 for example.

  5. dontbe evil

    not a Samsung fan, but as usual as many others millions of years ahead of apple, waiting for lg one in january

  6. Bill Russell

    These sorts of unified device efforts always fail, or at best underwhelming and very niche.

  7. waethorn

    We can haz Courier nao?

  8. waethorn

    Lots of dark shadows in the video betray the fact that this will have plastic, not glass, as the screen cover.

  9. curtisspendlove

    Bah. I had a folding phone a couple years ago: iPhone 6s Plus.

    :: drumroll, high-hat ::

    (seriously though, it is definitely intriguing)

  10. truerock2

    Yes, the first thing everyone notices is the Samsung fold-able smartphone prototype looks like a fold-able brick.

    But, if you keep up with OLED display tech and other flexible electronic technology - it is definitely not fold-able that is going to be the "next big thing". It's going to be paper-thin, flexible smartphones. I think they will get smartphones down to a flexible 1/8th inch thick within 5 to 10 years.

    And - yes - get over it - THEY WILL NOT HAVE HEADPHONE JACKS!

    Or floppy drives or serial ports or USB-A ports or any other obsolete crap on them.

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to truerock2:

      Headphone jacks are not obsolete. They provide a reliable, unpowered, analog way to get audio directly to your ears that has as of yet has no exact replacement. Wireless is great, but there is no harm in keeping the analog backup around.

  11. Jeffsters

    Apple filed a patent for a foldable phone in September 2016. You can Google it for more info. Perhaps, as typical of Apple, they just don't think the hardware is ready for prime time. I suppose someone will want one but I think phones are too big as it is so I'm not a buyer Apple or not.

  12. prjman

    This will end up as another example of Microsoft being late to market with an idea they should have been leaders on. They will then decide that the market has spoken, there can only be two options, and there is no point releasing the device anyway.

    • Usman

      In reply to prjman:

      They could have, but there's no good software or existing applications that would run on it. UWP as a mobile platform is dead, If they released Andromeda at the end of this year, what would it be running?

    • zybch

      In reply to prjman:

      Remember Courier? If they hadn't done the usual MS thing and gutted it and the team responsible, that device could have been MS's foot back into the mobile market with a device designed from the ground-up, not this thing limited by the OS it had to run.

  13. skane2600

    My old flip-phone folded too :)

    • locust infested orchard inc

      In reply to skane2600:

      Samsung has a flipping phone called the W2018 (or is it the W2019) due to launch this/next week, but only for the Far-East market, at a price of $2000.

      The foldable phone however, the Galaxy F / Galaxy Flex / Winner shall be released in 2019, with the display and fold witnessed today.

  14. skane2600

    Hmm. Looks like the world thickest smartphone.

    • slbailey1

      In reply to skane2600:
      The picture and the video is just a prototype. It is not the final phone. In the article I read on MSPoweruser or Android Central it was made that way to hide the actual design of the phone. I believe the phone is a lot thinner than in the picture and video. I also believe that phone does not have the pronounced hinge and gap displayed.

      • skane2600

        In reply to slbailey1:

        I don't get the promotional value of displaying what your product isn't going to look like. On the other hand, if the design isn't as far along as you suggest, that's another story.

        • VancouverNinja

          In reply to skane2600:

          I just found that out - wow a foldable bendable screen...never seen that before. They are running scared of Microsoft and Andromeda. I respect that they know how damaging it could be and they are obviously trying not to be caught out.

    • CaedenV

      In reply to skane2600:

      If it has battery life, I am OK with having a thick phone. I never understood why phones got thinner and thinner for years, while keeping bezels. I am perfectly OK with having bezeless designs that get a little thicker.

    • locust infested orchard inc

      In reply to skane2600:

      Samsung kept reiterating the display was encased in a SHELL, not the Samsung foldable phone.

      The displays were revealed today, not the phone.

  15. Illusive_Man

    Why do I need this? How does it improve my current experience?

    • Elan Gabriel

      In reply to Illusive_Man:

      Three things to consider -

      #1 - You might not need/want this, but other might.

      #2 - Companies trying what they can to set a market leader image, setting new boundaries. Samsung is just trying to market themselves as leaders and sell more.

      #3 - It might be good or it might be a flop. Just like people weren't sure about the tablets. There's no harm with trying.

      Just like you, I don't see anything that I want, but this is V1, who knows what (if) will become with V4.

  16. PeterC

    This is like the "ripples" on the puddle in Jurassic Park. Samsung are clearly stating intention, whose next I wonder? Ive long held out hope for a digital moleskin/journal in a smartphone package. Not that long ago I would have purchased this type of thing from MS in a heartbeat, now i'm not sure. Could such a device succeed if its not either iOS or Android based?

  17. mmcpher

    Color me impressed, if the unfolded display is as seemless as depicted. I would hope it will have an S-Pen and be like an expanded Note. It ain't thin, won't likely abide a case and must draw some wicked power, but it is thin enough to fit into a shirt pocket.

  18. CaedenV

    My current phone can fold too... but just once

  19. CaedenV

    This really looks cool, but I just don't see how it is going to work. I mean, flexing and bending that much over and over again is going to cause wear and tear and stress lines or creases or something after just a few months of use... plus this is no dobut going to be expensive. I like the idea though... but just don't see how this is going to work in reality.

  20. BrianEricFord

    Samsung didn’t unveil their foldable phone.

  21. truerock2

    I have an Apple Watch, an iPhone, an iPad a Windows 10 desktop PC and a Windows 10 notebook computer. I also have 5 televisions. and a six-phone telephone land-line.

    I get that it would be good to consolidate some of that - but, any consolidation of those form factors that I am aware of are sub-optimal - in my opinion.

    The fold-able smart phone would be a sub-optimal consolidation of smart-phone and tablet - I guess?

    The thing I do not like about my iPhone is that it is too big. Steve Jobs created the perfect form-factor for a smart phone when he developed the original iPhone. My iPhone is for makeing phone calls, texting and glancing at email. For extended tasks I'm going to use a different and more appropriate device.

    I get it. There are a lot of people who cannot afford (or do not want) having 6 different form-factors and want to have a phablet. So, for those individuals - the ones that like very large smartphones - I guess the fold-able phone is a good sub-optimal "phablet" solution.

    • Davor Radman

      In reply to truerock2:

      It's not just affordability. If you don't need all of these devices for work, that many devices just brings complications and stress into life. Jesus, to have to worry about 6 batteries? I'd die.

      Of course, not all of us are the same, some can deal with it easy.

      • truerock2

        In reply to Markiz von Schnitzel:

        When my wife bought me an Apple Watch for a Christmas present my first thought was "I absolutely do not need another device". But I consider it extremely important - now - and wear it all day every day.

        I agree with you. It seems crazy that my family has dozens of different devices - and it is getting worse. My youngest son convinced me he needed a small, light Windows 10 notebook that had a 2 to 3 day battery (he already owned a full size Windows 10 notebook) for on-college-campus physics and chemistry course work. Now everyone in my family thinks they need an 11 inch Windows 10 notebook and we are even thinking of replacing iPads in our business route-trucks with 11 inch Windows 10 notebooks.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to truerock2:

      Sub-optimal or not - when Apple release a foldable device, you'll buy it.

      • locust infested orchard inc

        In reply to ghostrider:

        Indeed, for that's the voodoo the Cupertino entity performs at its product launches to entice and coerce its faithful herds to part with their hard-earned cash.

      • Bill Russell

        In reply to ghostrider:

        To be fair, Apple's strength is, more than other company, only doing something if/when a feature actually works well. The only failure so far was 3d touch and that seemed only to be done because of the fact that a long press action was already taken for home screen icon rearranging. Contrast to the other companies like LG and Samsung who will add in the kitchen sink of often useless/half baked features that sound good on paper just to make a sale. But, to be fair to them as well, they are in a position of having to compete with iPhones, and that's the approach you have to take.

      • Jeffsters

        In reply to ghostrider:

        Maybe cause they'll do it right?

      • puggsly

        In reply to ghostrider:

        Maybe, but Apple will not release it until it can be done correctly. Unlocking a phone with you face was nothing new but it was also totally insecure and Apple didn't do it. Then when it could be done securely, apple released it and we are now over a year out with no response from the competition.

      • truerock2

        In reply to ghostrider:

           No - I wouldn't buy a foldable phone from anyone.

           I want an iPhone the size of the original iPhone (but, perhaps a little bit thinner and lighter).

           A few months ago I bought an iPhone 7 from an Apple store because it was the smallest iPhone currently sold by Apple (and the cheapest). It's fine - but I would prefer something smaller, lighter and thinner.

           I don't need or want a big smart phone.

      • VancouverNinja

        In reply to ghostrider:

        Fingers crossed it does not come to it. We have iPhones and we want them gone in our company. The only game in town for a thumping business is Windows and we desperately need andromeda to tie it all together. Android is pathetic and Apple treats everyone like lambs to the slaughter.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to truerock2:

      It looks nice but its size is totally missing the mark. If this thing is thinner and narrower than it looks then for an Android device it is nice.