Although Samsung never showed the folding phone close – not even behind the museum glass, the device is very real. It is conceptualized enough to earn Google support. In fact, Samsung's project seems to have playedfor all folding phones, regardless of the manufacturer. Meanwhile, Samsung developers gathered on Wednesday afternoon to share some more details, such as the phone's .
Despite dribs and drabs of information, the folding phone's short onstage appearance. Here's what we know – and what's still going on.
What is the name of the phone?
Samsung did not give the folding phone a name, but rumors suggest that it will be called Galaxy X or Galaxy F. "F" can stand for "fold" or "flex". "X" may mean "extra" or "10" since there are 9 Galaxy S phones – although we expect to see a Galaxy S10 around March this year.
What is a folding phone?
If we go for Samsung's definition, a folding phone is a device with a mobile connection (hence the "phone" section) that looks like a tablet when it's fully opened and can close to look like a regular phone. Samsung's prototype has a tablet-like display that closes inward like a book, butanother foldable phone has an outward-facing display, which means the "screen" is on the outside. There is no single definition.
Did not ZTE get a foldable phone?
Last year, ZTE Axon M was an early version of a folding phone that attached two separate phone screens through a central hinge. Samsung's foldable phone (and Royole's FlexPai) seems to have unibody monitors as a centerpiece folder. A magnet secures the FlexPai screen in the "closed" position.
We can credit Axon M to explore different new ways to use a dual-screen device; Royole has already adopted some of these, for example, mirroring the content on both screens so people on each side of a table can see the same video. ZTE can very well come up with a second generation foldable phone (or "foldable").
What are the benefits of a folding phone?
There are two main advantages. First, a folding phone can more than double the available display area. For example, Samsung's model has a 4.5-inch display that you want to use when it's closed. Then the inside opens into a 7.3-inch screen. You can claim that you match three screens to work with.
A larger screen gives you an expanded view, but it also locks in different ways you can use the device. For example, Samsung's folding screen can give you multitasking in three areas at the same time. ZTE Axon M lets you use the entire screen of an app, load a separate app on each screen, or mirror the same app on both screens.
What happens when you open and close your Samsung phone when using an app?
Like Royole FlexPai, this folding phone will automatically transfer the app or screen you are viewing in the folded "closed" position to "open" position, and vice versa. We noticed some layers on FlexPai, but have not had the opportunity to see how Samsung will handle the transition.
What's so good with Samsung's screen?
Samsung created a new display for its folding phone, Infinity Flex Display. The company said that it should change the usual layers that are part of any screen (this is what lights up the "screen" you see on the phone). All monitors are made of layers, but they are usually stacked and unmoving. Infinity Flex Display uses a new glue that Samsung designed to laminate the screen layers so they can bend and fold hundreds of thousands of times.
The company also needed to make Infinity Flex Display thinner than any other mobile display. It cuts the thickness of the polarization layer, which helps to make the screen readable by 45 percent.
When will Samsung's folding phone be for sale?
Samsung said it would start a lot to produce the phone in the coming months. "The folding phone will probably start selling in 2019. We expect Samsung to hold a separate launch event to introduce the details. Again, this was just a talk.
How much does it cost?
The short answer is that We do not know because Samsung has not announced it. However, it's easy to guess that this will be an expensive device. The Royole FlexPai's Foldable Phone for Developers costs $ 1,318 for a device with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage runs for $ 1 469.
Since Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for power users starts at $ 999, it's a fair guess that a pioneering folding phone can easily start at $ 1500, if not more. We can expect that devicemakers like Samsung (and Royole) to justify high prices based on total display real estate. After all, they have the reason that you get a tablet and phone in one – and phone prices only get higher.
What is battery life?
Samsung aims to provide its collapsible battery battery life lasting as long as today's Galaxy smartphone, said Jisun Park, Technical Director and Head of the Samsung Systems Mobile Software Group. It is despite the fact that there is more active display to empty the battery. The American version of the note 9 lasted an average of 19 hours and 20 minutes in.
Where is the battery anyway?
We do not have access to design details, but the batteries do not bend. Expect a large battery to sit on one side and many of the other components to balance it on the other. One major complaint we had with ZTE Axon M was that it felt unbalanced by half that contained the battery drastically thicker and heavier than the other half. Samsung will have to take care of it.
Is that the picture what the folding phone really looks like?
Absolutely not. Samsung showed a prototype model, commenting that the real parts were hidden inside. Samsung is not ready for the public – or competitors – to see a final design.
If there is a breadcrumb that officially left us about the possible shape of the folding phone, it is in the new One UI operating system. The company mentioned that the rounded rectangular edges that form a large design motif are intended to fit the unit's rounded edges. The prototype folding phone has 90-degree edges and thick sections. We can foresee a softer look.
What is the device made of?
Materials are a big deal because buyers have been conditioned to spend more on aluminum, ceramics and glass. But FlexPai uses a plastic screen and body to achieve flexibility and keep costs at bay, and ZTE Axon M traded camera quality and other parts to keep it affordable.
It is possible that the folding phone will have at least one plastic screen. When CNE asked, Samsung's Park suggested for developers that the external display could possibly have a different material topped the screen than the interior. Our guess is that the 4.5-inch screen can be made of Gorilla Glass, while the 7.3-inch screen inside can be made of plastic.
Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.
How does it work? 19659008] In general, you will start using the folding phone as you would your regular phone, and then open it when you want to take advantage of the larger display area. Samsung does not share details about how hardware and software share messages.
Is it running on Android?
Yes, but there is more. Samsung announced that the folding phone and future phones will run on a redesigned version of Samsung's custom software called One UI. Samsung makes the only UI beta available this month, but only for Android 9 Pie users. It's a good bet that the folding phone will start with Android Pie.
What apps will work on the phone?
There are still early days so we do not have many details about apps. This is part of the reason that Samsung presented the device to SDC, its developer conference: To get developers on board with support for the phone. Samsung's own apps, such as SmartThings, will probably work on the device, and long-term partner Flipboard showed their first bet on an app.
Since the biggest advantage is the ability to multitask – run three apps at once or access more features in A particular app at the same time – It is on developers to create compelling apps that work seamlessly on the folding phone. Samsung relies on app developers to help innovate as they did with stylus compatible apps for Galaxy Note.
When you open the device, does the smallest screen become dark?
At the moment, Samsung's design will turn off the 4.5-inch display and open the app on the larger 7.3-inch internal screen and pick up where you left.
What is Samsung's competition like?
] Small on this point, but the future looks hard. Clamshell ZTE Axon M is not a major competitor, nor Royole FlexPai, although it turns Samsung into a really foldable screen. But we know that LG and Huawei have their own plans for folding phones in the work. LG is rumored to launch already in January on CES 2019.
Will Samsung sell its folding screens to other devicemakers?
During a SDC panel Wednesday, a developer asked when Samsung would sell its display technology to rivals. It refused to comment on that opportunity, but Samsung is one of the world's largest display panel manufacturers. It's likely that it will eventually sell the technology to competitors to use in their own devices.
Is this too real?
A folding phone can feel like a pipe dream, but this is a fantasy that can actually come to life. Questions remain about the price, practical and practical use of a folding device.
What comes after folding?
"Our innovation pipeline includes rollable and stretchable displays," Samsung Denison said on Wednesday.
CNET's Shara Tibken contributed to this story.
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