Samsung foldable smartphone

It’d be very sad for Samsung if Apple ended up beating its arch-rival to the foldable smartphone punch, but despite the chaebol’s hesitations in green-lighting a potentially revolutionary design that’s been many years in the making, we’re all still expecting the so-called “Galaxy X” to launch first.

That name may not pan out after all, and a commercial debut before the “rigid” Galaxy S10 seems more and more unlikely. But various flexible prototypes are in the pipeline, and Samsung could well give one of them a market test run sometime next year. We’re obviously talking something smaller than a Galaxy S or Note-scale release. Think a Galaxy Round-style limited rollout.

The experimental 2013 product paved the way for 2014’s Note Edge, which in turn made the dual-curved S6 Edge, S7 Edge, S8, Note 8 and S9 possible. Similarly, Samsung’s rookie foldable effort in 2019 could lead to a mainstream expansion and refinement of the concept further down the line.

Reportedly showcased behind closed doors back at CES 2018 in January, the company’s latest “Galaxy X” vision includes a whopping total of three OLED screens. All three measure 3.5 inches in diagonal, with the two on the front combining into a 7-incher when the device is unfolded, and an additional rear-mounted panel for notifications and essential information at a glance.

But everything is still subject to change, from the number of screens to sizes and even the basic type of foldable design to be commercially employed. Both in-folding and out-folding approaches are being strongly considered, and a “final” decision is expected for June of this year. Until the next delay, at least.

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