Samsung has been teasing a foldable Android smartphone for years now, but it’s always seemed like something the company wouldn’t actually bring to market. Today at its annual developer conference, Samsung has shown off a prototype device using its new “Infinity Flex” display.
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The first prototype Samsung has shown off with the Infinity Flex display has an external “cover” display which is smaller and work with all of your typical applications. However, you can open up the main display to get more screen real-estate. Samsung says that the internal display measures 7.3-inches and can be folded “hundreds of thousands” of times before it starts wearing out.
To create this new display, Samsung is using a flexible OLED panel without any glass on top. Instead, the phone replaces the traditional glass with a flexible “advanced composite polymer.” There’s also a 45% thinner polarizer. The company says that mass production for this hardware will be available in the coming months.
In terms of the software, Samsung has confirmed a previous report that it is working directly with Google to ensure that Android handles this sort of form factor appropriately. Google announced support for foldables at the Android Dev Summit and says that this support will be available in “future Android releases” as well as being in Samsung’s foldable devices.
Samsung’s new One UI will be running on this new hardware as well. The company says that it will support using up to 3 apps at a time in multi-window on the larger display.
Update: Thanks to Avi Greengart on Twitter, we’ve now got specifications on the display size and aspect ratio of this new display. The outer “cover” display is a 4.58-inch panel with a resolution of 840×1960. The inner display, on the other hand, is a 1536×2152 panel at 7.3-inches.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have a name or design for this hardware just yet. Samsung’s Infinity Flex display shown off on stage was kept hidden in darkness and a special casing which hid the design of the product which was described as “stunning.” Some rumors point to the device being called the “Galaxy F.”
Samsung hinted a few times throughout the presentation that this new device would be arriving next year, as Google also confirmed. It seems likely that the Galaxy S10 launch this coming Spring will see the full reveal of this product, as Samsung mentioned that we’ll see more at “the next unpacked.”
— SAMSUNG DEVELOPERS (@samsung_dev) November 7, 2018
More on Samsung:
- Samsung’s Android Pie open beta hits Galaxy S9 and Note 9 this month, public release January 2019
- Samsung reveals ‘One UI,’ its new design language, launching w/ Android Pie this January