There’s only so many ways you can shape a rectangular slab and call it a smartphone, right? Well, the tech industry is seemingly realizing so. We have seen glimpses of more radical change with LG‘s and Samsung‘s devices in the past few years, and Google is now pushing things even forward with its modular Project Ara smartphone.

But Samsung’s ambitions are far from being stopped by the Galaxy S7 edge‘s success, and as a new patent shows (via Patently Mobile), the Korean giant is apparently bringing the whole concept a big step further…

We know that Samsung is no stranger to crazy tech of all kinds, be it ginormous billboard screens or — more to the point — rollable displays, but while the latter brings up a number of problems regarding its potential application in a real-world product, a sort of “smart flip-phone” could be turned into a more practical concept.

We had already seen patents pointing out to Samsung’s interest in such a device, and the new ones corroborate that. Essentially, the evolution in OLED display technology has advanced so much in recent years that a properly foldable display is no miracle at all.

The prototype phone shown in the patent looks like a regular device when it’s open, but a horizontal cut in the middle would theoretically allow it to be folded and carried around in a much more comfortable and compact size.

The mechanism would rely on some sort of hinge, making it not too different from a laptop (in its core architectural idea), while at the same time, as shown in the image, hiding some sort of connector which would be exposed when the device is folded, and serve as a charging port.

We wouldn’t be quite as certain, but Patently Mobile suggests that this is not simply a far-fetched prototype, but something that may carry the Galaxy moniker in the consumer market not too far from now.

The idea is interesting indeed, but what do you think about it? Would you like to have a foldable smartphone as the next device in your pocket? Let us know in the comment section below.

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