The mobile industry has been tracking this rumored Samsung "Galaxy X" prototype phone for several months, and while we don't even know if that's what the phone will actually be called, it's what the current rumor mill has been spitting out. In any case, here's what we know and what to look forward to with Samsung's upcoming foldable smartphone.
THE FOLDABLE GALAXY NEWS
February 2, 2019 — Samsung teases foldable phone in futuristic YouTube video
Samsung uploaded, deleted, and then re-uploaded a new Samsung Galaxy spot called "The Future". The video shows some current Samsung products like the Note 9, but mostly displays futuristic concepts of Galaxy devices such as a Galaxy tablet that's linked to a robotic tattooing arm or a USB-C dongle that functions as an ultrasound, but the real star of the show is buried in the middle: a 2.3-second peek at a foldable Galaxy phone.
If you don't want to keep rewinding those two seconds, here they are in GIF form:
This has obviously been touched-up in post and the screens are simulated — as most phone screens in commercials are — but it's a beautiful peek at Samsung's foldable phone, and that's a peek we will enjoy. As tomorrow is the Super Bowl, chances are this video was Samsung's spot for the Big Game that was accidentally uploaded early, but whatever the case, it's here now and maybe it actually have more than a teasing peek at the Galaxy X/F/whatever during the Galaxy event on February 20.
January 10, 2019 — Samsung's foldable phone may be shown off on February 20
Earlier today, Samsung confirmed that it's holding a press event on February 20 to officially announce its Galaxy S10 series of flagships. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Samsung will also use the event to showcase its upcoming foldable phone.
WSJ notes that we'll see a "fully functional foldable-screen handset", suggesting that we might get a look at the finished product rather than it being hidden in a box like it was at the Samsung Developer Conference when we last laid eyes on the phone.
While we're not expecting the Galaxy X (or Galaxy F, whatever you want to call it) until later in 2019, this would be a good stage for Samsung to show it off once more and reveal any progress it's made since November.
January 9, 2019 — Samsung's foldable phone will be released in the first half of 2019
It's been a hot minute since we've had any developments on Samsung's foldable phone, but at CES 2019, that finally changed:
While speaking to Jeremy Kaplan, Digital Trends' editor-in-chief, at our CES booth, Suzanne de Silva, Samsung's director of Product Strategy and Marketing, confirmed that the new phone is slated for release in the first half of 2019.
While we don't have an exact month to look forward to, the first half of 2019 is more specific than the previous timeframe we had of just some point this year.
ALL THE BIG DETAILS
Samsung's folding screen tech is called "Infinity Flex"
At its 2018 Developer Conference, Samsung announced that its foldable AMOLED panel is called "Infinity Flex."
Infinity Flex consists of two different displays — a smaller one on the front that looks like a traditional phone, and when you open it up, there's a large 7.3-inch panel inside. Unlike other foldable smartphones, the actual display is bending rather than a separate hinge. That means no black bars or bezels covering the display. It's just one, gorgeous, uninterrupted screen.
Per Samsung's announcement:
Users now have the best of both worlds: a compact smartphone that unfolds to reveal a larger immersive display for multitasking and viewing content. The app experience seamlessly transitions from the smaller display to the larger display as the device unfolds. Also, users can browse, watch, connect and multitask without losing a beat, simultaneously using three active apps on the larger display.
The device seen in the pictures above is likely what we've been referring to as the "Galaxy X," but that large, chunky body isn't what it looks like. It's simply a dummy case to hide what the phone's real design, but the function of the foldable panel will work the same come launch time.
Android natively supports foldable phones
Just before Samsung's conference, Google officially announced support for foldable smartphones.
With this native support, apps will be able to adjust and rearrange themselves based on whether they're being used on the smaller display or the larger, folded-out one.
Google's referring to this process as "screen continuity" and is best to be thought of as an evolution of how elements on your screen move around when you go from portrait to landscape mode.
The phone will be released during the first half of 2019
If you were hoping to rush out and buy Samsung's foldable phone soon, you're unfortunately going to have to wait a little while longer.
Samsung says that it'll begin mass production of its Infinity Flex displays within the coming months, meaning we're looking at a release at some point in 2019.
Getting a bit more specific, Samsung's Director of Product Strategy and Marketing confirmed during CES 2019 that the phone will be released during the first half of the year.