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Forward-looking: Samsung's folding phones are becoming an increasingly popular, if expensive, form factor in the mobile space. But the company isn't standing still when it comes to innovating; its subsidiary just showed off a foldable that can rotate 360 degrees.
Samsung Display showed off the new prototype, called Flex In & Out, to The Verge. The big difference between this model and the current Galaxy Z Fold series is that it can rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing the screen to fold both inwards and outwards.
According to Samsung Display's Korean newsroom, the functionality maximizes "user convenience," and the aspect ratio can be changed depending on the phone's use.
Additionally, the display comes with a water-drop hinge design. Earlier this week, we heard about this new hinge when a Korean publication claimed it would feature in the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
The significant advantage of this droplet-style hinge over the current u-shape is a near-invisible crease when the display is fully opened. Moreover, the screen could be folded completely flat, as opposed to having a slight gap like the Z Fold 4. The new design also increases the display's durability and the number of folds/unfolds it can endure.
This isn't the first time Samsung has revealed the Flex In & Out, but this latest iteration is a big change from the device that was on show at the International Meeting for Information Displays (IMID) 2021 in South Korea. That prototype folded in an S-shape and had what was essentially three separate screens. The new version uses the traditional single fold.
With previous rumors of this year's Galaxy Z Fold 5 featuring a water-drop hinge, some believe that Samsung could implement the Flex In & Out display on its next foldable. That would make a major design update over the previous phones in the series, and it could potentially add to what is already a very high price. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 was revealed last August, so we can expect its successor to be unveiled during the same month.