After years of official teasers and months of rabid speculation among tech fans, Samsung has finally revealed its foldable smartphone. The Korean company used its developers conference in San Francisco to show off the device, which has long been touted as the future of smartphones.
So, what’s the big deal? And when will you be able to get your hands on one? Read on and we’ll reveal five things you need to know about Samsung’s foldable phone.
1. A tablet that turns into a smartphone
Essentially, Samsung’s foldable phone is actually a tablet. Its main screen, which uses Samsung’s Infinity Display tech, measures 7.3–inches, larger than even the Galaxy Note 9.
That screen can be folded in half, with a smaller screen appearing on the outer case. That then acts as a standard–sized handset, although in video clips it looks significantly smaller than your average phone’s display.
2. Not the final design
The videos circulating of Samsung’s cutting edge new phone make it look extremely bulky. But the tech giant was swift to point out that the phone itself was ‘disguised’, lest it give away any design secrets to its rivals.
That suggests that when folded it won’t be the chunky candy bar phone that it looks like. Failure to make this phone look sharp could cost Samsung dear in the long run. The company says it’s ‘stunning’ but we’ll have to wait and see.
3. No name yet
Much has been made about whether Samsung will dub its folding phone the Galaxy X or Galaxy F. But it gave no clues as to naming strategy, instead simply talking about a folding phone. That should keep tech watchers guessing and at least mean that if things do go wrong, it won’t wind up being remembered by a name that Samsung will never be able to use for another product.
4. ‘A matter of months’ until production starts
Samsung has not given a definite timeframe for its folding phones release. Instead, it says that the Infinity Flex screen that it uses will go into production in ‘a matter of months’. There has always been the suggestion that this device would not be produced in huge numbers, with analysts saying it would be available in the hundreds of thousands at most.
A release date of next spring seems viable, especially with the Galaxy S10 expected to be on shelves at the same time.
5. Google is on board
The good news for Samsung is that Google is very much on board with this device. It was on stage to encourage developers to start refining their apps for folding phones, with the belief they will go mainstream in 2019.
Huawei has its own version planned and it’s in Google’s interest to ensure Android apps are optimised for the experience. Whether they can change the game and end the dominance of big screen smartphones, however, remains to be seen.