Samsung's foldable Galaxy X could arrive at Mobile World Congress 2019

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,743   +140
Staff member

Samsung is already hard at work on its future flagships including a new Galaxy Note that’ll likely debut this summer and next year’s Galaxy S10 which is rumored to include an in-display fingerprint sensor. Most expected the Galaxy S10 to arrive at Mobile World Congress in 2019 but now, we’re hearing that Samsung may expedite its debut to open up its roadmap for a new device.

Samsung has been rumored to launch its Galaxy S phone at CES for years yet to date, it hasn’t materialized. That could change in 2019, however, according to a recent report from South Korean financial publication The Bell which claims the S10 will enter manufacturing in October ahead of the early January debut.

Sources say Samsung is changing the date to make room for its first foldable phone. Known around the rumor mill as the Galaxy X (yeah, that won’t be confusing alongside the Galaxy S10), Samsung reportedly showed off a prototype of the device earlier this year behind closed doors.

The device reportedly consisted of three 3.5-inch OLED panels. The front of the device features two panels that, when opened, create an effective screen that's closer to seven inches across. The third panel is found on the back, allowing you to still use the phone even when it is folded.

It’s easy to get excited about the concept of a folding smartphone but the reality is, there are a lot of unknowns at this junction. The technology has been around for years now but it’s the practical application as a smartphone that has caused major manufacturers like Samsung to stumble. How do you make good use of a folding smartphone without it feeling like a giant gimmick? It also needs to be durable and again, practical. If it’s no better than the slab phones we already have, well, why bother?

Samsung is approaching the product with a bit of caution and will reportedly launch in limited quantities to gauge consumer interest before going all-in. Expect it to break cover at Mobile World Congress in early 2019.

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TomSEA

Posts: 3,320   +2,070
"It also needs to be durable...."

Bingo. Could be wrong, but I can't imagine any folding, plastic-type screen that eventually isn't going to crack or become deformed/corrupt after extended use.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,592   +654
They are pretty clever in how it's being folded. The phone will definitely not be flat by any means - it's got a gentle fold, not a crease, so it'll be more like a billfold / wallet than the super flat thin phones everyone has come to expect. That geometry also makes any kind of case for the phone more difficult. Could be a challenge to gain consumer acceptance with something that far out of the accepted norm for smart phones.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,947   +2,327
Considering how a lot of people treat their phone, I can't see this taking off yet. Maybe Gen2 or 3, but not Gen1. I've never used a screen protector on any smartphone I've had (first one, Dell Streak 5), or case other than a thin one, but some phones I've seen, look like they've been through combat!
Personally, I'd love to have a 4-5" closed phone screen, that opens to an 8-10" tablet. Would be PERFECT for work, but unless they are durable, I can't see the public jumping on board, given they will probably jack the price up for this "innovation".
 

enemys

Posts: 264   +294
TechSpot Elite
"The front of the device features two panels that, when opened, create an effective screen that's closer to seven inches across."
Except it's far, far from 7 inches. You need 4 smaller screens to create one with a diagonal twice as long.

Personally, I'd love to have a 4-5" closed phone screen, that opens to an 8-10" tablet. Would be PERFECT for work, but unless they are durable, I can't see the public jumping on board, given they will probably jack the price up for this "innovation".
As above - it's physically impossible to make an 8 inch screen out of two 4 inch screens.
 

lazer

Posts: 403   +123
Hate the video, but the idea of a folding phone is great. sort of like having a phone and a tablet in one device.
 

mark kram

Posts: 58   +14
The digitizer and haptic screen are glued together on all phones. Bending phones stresses the glue allowing the two pieces to separate. The two other ways to make phone screens larger is telescoping screens where one fits underneath, slides out and locks in place and stretching screens where both the digitizer and screen grow thinner as size increases. Samsung is intent on selling you a piece of junk.