Foldable phones were great, in a 1960s-era Star Trek kind-of way. Before the advent of the iPhone, clamshells like Moto Razr were very much pitched as the future of mobile communication. Pull one out of your pocket, flip it open, and you felt like a starship captain on an alien planet. Or at least I did… Now, Samsung could signal a new generation of foldable phones with the Galaxy X.
We know Samsung has filed a trademark for the Galaxy X brand with South Korea’s Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS). South Korea being, of course, the home of the Samsung brand. This is coupled with patents and leaked designs of bendable screen technology, all of which points towards the Samsung Galaxy X becoming the company’s first foldable phone.
So why make it foldable? The recent big trend in smartphones has been curved edge displays; the Samsung S8 typifies that current mode – and it’s anticipated that the imminent iPhone 8 will sport the sleek design, too. Sprawling screens are the order of the day, so it makes sense to push display capabilities to their limits, with faces that can bend and stretch.
Samsung isn’t alone in testing foldable screen technology. Apple has reportedly procured a patent for a foldable smartphone in November last year. Lenovo and LG have also been deemed forerunners in the unlikely quest for foldable phones. Samsung might just clinch the first major product, however. So what do we know about the Galaxy X? Keep reading to find out all the rumours, news and specs.
Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy X
Samsung Galaxy X: Release date
It’s anticipated that Samsung will begin production of the Galaxy X in the last quarter of 2017. Given the unprecedented phone’s potentially divisive idiosyncrasies, it’s reported that Samsung will release only a (relatively) small number of the handsets, expected to be in the region of 100,000. This constitutes a way of testing the proverbial water, ensuring that there is ample – not to mention profitable – public demand for such an alien device.
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That being said, don’t bank on getting your mitts on a Galaxy X come the new year. Patently Apple has doubts, explaining that supply contracts for panels are usually prepared a year in advance. Given that Samsung aimed to gauge commercial interest for the Galaxy X at the recent MWC, this suggests that the phone most likely won’t be available right at the start of 2018, at least not en masse.
Samsung Galaxy X: At a glance
- Foldable screen anticipated
- Launch date expected mid-2018
- Limited output expected (100,000 handsets)
Samsung Galaxy X: Design and features
Whilst the Galaxy X wasn’t launched per se at MWC 2017, word on the street was that selected press and partners were permitted a sneaky peak of the device. All very hush-hush, of course.
Nonetheless, rumours began circulating shortly thereafter, with a Super AMOLED display with flexible capabilities expected to be the Galaxy X’s defining feature. Further details suggested that the Galaxy X will offer a 5in display that can be folded outwards, transforming the smartphone into a 7in miniature tablet.
Back in July 2016, Patently Mobile released several sets of images illustrating Samsung’s foldable phone and tablet concepts. While they’ve restricted fellow tech sites from borrowing more than one image set at a time (see below), a full range of images can be found here.
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More recently, in November, SamMobile released images it suggested could be “our closest look” at the Galaxy X via Dutch site GalaxyClub. The images show a hinged device, not unlike that of Microsoft’s Surface Book, suggesting that it might sport a similar small cavity when folded over. Nonetheless, it’s an unprecedented piece of smartphone technology.
All this makes us reminiscent of the days of 2010 when critics snubbed Samsung’s original Galaxy Note, deeming its 5.3in screen too big. Fast-forward a few years and you’ll see that big, beautiful screens are a spec du jour. A 5.3in screen might even seem paltry to some, with the ill-fated Note 7 sporting a monstrous 5.7in display. The extendable/contractible feature on the Galaxy X might just broaden Samsung’s audience appeal: from the clammy grasper favouring an easy-to-hold phone, to the wide-eyed tablet enthusiast, it’s got dimensions for everyone, and they’re adaptable to boot.
We will update this page as and when we get more information on the Samsung Galaxy X.
Images: Jamie McCall used under Creative Commons, Patently Mobile and SamMobile via GalaxyClub.
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