After hyping its unveil of its long-rumored folding smartphone, Samsung kind of delivered an announcement, revealing a dual-screen folding phone prototype.
“How can we make the screen bigger without actually increasing the size of the device itself?” a Samsung exec posited onstage.
The company showcased a prototype of its “Infinity Flex Display,” a device that can be unfolded. In a pitch black room, a company exec showcased the device, which was housed in a larger case to “obscure the form factor.” There’s a conventional outer display on the front with a fairly low screen-to-body ration, but when you unfold the phone, there’s a massive 7.3″ display on the inside.
It’s a bit surprising that the folding display is on the inside of the phone rather than the outside edge, though I’m sure it’s much easier for the company to build a reliable display if the actual folding part of the screen doesn’t have to account for the entire side of the phone.
When you open the phone, your open apps will move from the front display to the tablet-sized display, functionality only possible thanks to some updates to Android.
It’s clear that despite hyping this “innovation,” Samsung isn’t quite ready to release a device of this type yet. The company says it will start mass production of the new display type in the coming months. The company teased more announcements surrounding the device at the next Samsung Unpacked event in 2019.
Whether this is the future of the phablet or not, it’s certainly an evolution of the smartphone form factor. Samsung believes that the folding display is the “foundation of the smartphone of tomorrow,” but whether there’s more beyond the gimmick certainly wasn’t clarified today.