There’s been talk of foldable displays for years at this point, with Samsung always at the forefront of those rumors. And today, at its own developer conference, the company showed off its first folding phone.
While the details of the device in particular are incredibly scant, what we do know is that it features two displays: one large one on the inside (this is the one that folds), and one smaller one on the outside. The inside panel—the larger, folding one—was said to be 7.3-inch. The size of the smaller screen wasn’t announced.
For a better idea of how this works, have a looksee at this gif:
The overall design of the device was hidden inside of sort of bulky external shell as to keep its overall look more of a secret, making this look more like an early functional prototype than anything that resembles a ready-for-market handset. And that’s literally all we know about the hardware right now, but that’s still more than we knew before the SDC keynote, so at least it’s something.
They also provided some insights into the software. Google announced this morning that Android will natively support folding displays—or “foldables,” as they’re calling them—and Samsung had a Google engineer at SDC to talk that partnership up. Future versions of Android will have foldable features built in by default, though the exact implications and how wide-reaching these features will be isn’t readily available.
One thing Samsung did show off, however, is a new multi-window mode that supports three apps on-screen at the same time in tablet mode. Samsung was one of the first companies to bring any sort of multi-window to Android phones (long before Google’s official support) so it makes sense that the company is looking to take this to the next level.
Past that, there isn’t a whole lot to be said about this new device—which went unnamed at the event, I might add—but it was noted that the folding display tech will be put into mass production next year. That indicates we could see this device hit the retail scene sometime in 2019. It was also mentioned that we’d hear/see more about this device at Samsung’s forthcoming Unpacked event, which is rumored to be at CES 2019.
We’ll be on the floor for CES, but until then we’ll have our eyes peeled for more information about this mysterious folding phone that somehow raises more questions than it answered. Way to keep up the mystique, Samsung.