Galaxy X, Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold: Feb. 20 launch, value, specs, rumored March launch date for Samsung’s foldable cellphone – CNET

This render from Let’s Go Digital paints an image of how Samsung’s foldable cellphone may look.

Let’s Go Digital

The wait is nearly over. Solutions about Samsung’s foldable cellphone — rumored to be known as the Galaxy X, Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Flex — will come on Feb. 20. On Monday, Samsung issued a teaser video saying, “The way forward for cellular will unfold on Feb. 20, 2019,” alongside imagery of Korean and English phrases that spell out “the long run unfolds” sliding alongside an invisible curved floor. 

Whereas the video would not give away a lot, it does affirm that Samsung will use its Galaxy S10 launch occasion to additionally discuss its foldable cellphone intimately. At this level, we anticipate to see greater than the flash of folding cellphone prototype Samsung briefly waved round at its builders convention this previous November. The Wall Road Journal stories that Samsung will trot out a completely fledged unit to point out off. 

The corporate’s foldable cellphone is slated to reach within the first half of 2019. It is already producing buzz, and for good cause. Together with 5G, foldable telephones are extensively considered the subsequent huge factor for smartphones in 2019. 

A foldable design guarantees to increase a handset’s display dimension whereas protecting the system moveable sufficient to hold round. Because the forefront of a daring new design period, foldable telephones are additionally seen as a approach to shake up renewed curiosity as individuals maintain onto their gadgets longer and cellphone gross sales gradual.

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Samsung often is the largest canine within the race, however opponents are scorching on its heels. Xiaomi, a Chinese language model comparatively unknown within the US, has already challenged Samsung with a new form of foldable cellphone design earlier than it is even introduced.

Though we all know extra now than we did again in November when Samsung’s foldable cellphone grew to become actual, what we have seen of the system up to now has raised extra questions than solutions. Here is what we all know, what we predict and what’s nonetheless to be uncovered.

Samsung didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Galaxy X? Or, extra doubtless, Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Flex

The Galaxy X and Galaxy F have been two early front-runners, and a latest report from the Wall Road Journal prompt that Samsung will decide a reputation within the “F” class. Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Flex are all potentialities, though inside CNET’s corridors we agree they’re largely all secure selections (one is downright unhealthy). 

But after Samsung’ video Feb. 11 leak, I am inclined to suppose “Galaxy Fold” may win out, since Samsung selected the phrase “the long run unfolds” and never one thing with an X in it, like “the long run is thrilling.”

Though Galaxy X sounds so much cooler and fewer susceptible to detrimental connotation — “F” stands for “fail” and for a standard four-letter curse phrase — it is smart for Samsung to keep away from “copying” the iPhone X. Nonetheless, “X” may legitimately may imply “additional,””thrilling” or “10,” since there are 9 Galaxy S telephones out and that is, in spite of everything, Samsung’s 10th anniversary Galaxy S 12 months.

LearnSamsung’s foldable cellphone faces 10 huge points

What’s this a few foldable cellphone for gaming?

Samsung was granted a patent for a foldable cellphone design that features bodily gaming controls like a D-pad and buttons. Sounds insane, proper? Maybe, however the design combines two main developments, foldable and area of interest gaming telephones just like the Razer Cellphone 2 and Nubia Pink Magic Mars

Even when we do not see these controls on Samsung’s first folding cellphone, it is a glimpse into one other means this massive, hybrid system may work.


A render of how a Samsung foldable cellphone with bodily gaming controls may look.


Wait, what’s a foldable cellphone anyway?

If we go by Samsung’s definition, a foldable cellphone is a tool with a mobile connection (therefore the “cellphone” half) that appears like a pill when it is totally opened and may near appear to be your regular cellphone. 

Samsung’s prototype has a tablet-like display that closes inward like a e-book, however Royole’s FlexPai, one other foldable cellphone, has an outward-folding display, which suggests the “display” is on the surface. Xiaomi’s upcoming foldable cellphone bends again on each edges in order that the center a part of the display turns into the dimensions of a typical cellphone. There isn’t any single definition.

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Did not ZTE make a foldable cellphone?

Final 12 months’s ZTE Axon M was an early model of a foldable cellphone that connected two separate cellphone screens by way of a central hinge. Samsung’s foldable cellphone (and Royole’s FlexPai) seem to have unibody shows that fold on the midpoint. A magnet secures the FlexPai’s display within the “closed” place.

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We are able to credit score the Axon M with exploring totally different new methods to make use of a dual-screen system; Royole has already adopted a few of these, for instance, mirroring the contents of each screens so individuals on both facet of a desk can watch the identical video clip. ZTE may very nicely provide you with a second-generation foldable (or “foldable”) cellphone, although it is opponents like Huawei and Motorola which might be rumored to get there first.

What’s the advantage of a foldable cellphone?

There are two fundamental benefits. First, a foldable cellphone can greater than double your out there display house. For instance, Samsung’s mannequin has a four.5-inch show that you’re going to use when it is closed. Then the within opens right into a 7.Three-inch display. You may argue that you’ve the equal of three shows to work with.

A bigger display provides you an expanded viewing floor, nevertheless it additionally unlocks totally different ways in which you should utilize your system. For instance, Samsung’s foldable show will allow you to multitask in three areas directly. ZTE’s Axon M allows you to use your complete display for one app, load a separate app on every display, or mirror the identical app on each screens.

Because of Google’s official Android help for all foldable telephones, apps on the foldable Galaxy cellphone will be capable of make the most of three lively home windows on that 7.Three-inch inside show. now there’s simply the query of killer apps.


Apps will be capable of work three alternative ways on the foldable Samsung cellphone’s display.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

What occurs once you open and shut Samsung’s cellphone once you’re utilizing an app?

Xiaomi’s teaser for its upcoming foldable cellphone exhibits a brand new tackle folding.

Xiaomi/GIF by CNET

Just like the Royole FlexPai, this foldable cellphone will routinely switch the app or display you are taking a look at within the folded-up “closed” place to the “open” place, and vice versa. 

We observed some lag right here on the FlexPai, however have not had an opportunity to see how Samsung will deal with the transition.

Xiaomi’s video exhibits a less complicated resolution. For those who’re closing the cellphone by folding underneath the perimeters of a bigger display, you by no means actually lose the display you are on, so in concept you are not switching between screens in any respect, simply configurations.

What’s so nice about Samsung’s show?

Samsung created a brand new show for its foldable cellphone, the Infinity Flex Show. The corporate mentioned that it needed to modify the standard layers which might be a part of any show (that is what lights up the “display” you see in your cellphone). 

All shows are manufactured from layers, however they’re often stacked and unmoving. The Infinity Flex Show makes use of a brand new adhesive that Samsung developed to laminate the show layers to allow them to flex and fold a whole bunch of 1000’s of occasions.

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Samsung additionally wanted to make the Infinity Flex Show thinner than every other cellular show. It reduce the thickness of the polarizer layer, which helps make the display legible, by 45 p.c.

The Infinity Flex is manufactured from polymer, which is to say, a kind of plastic. It is potential that the four.5 exterior display has a Gorilla Glass cowl materials just like the Galaxy S9 and Word 9 telephones. 

Will we ever get foldable glass?

We hope so! Glass is often seen as a extra premium materials than plastic. CNET was the primary to report that the corporate behind Gorilla Glass, Corning, has been engaged on creating superthin glass that may bend.


Superthin versatile glass may high a folding cellphone

Sarah Tew/CNET

“To go to a decent bend radius, you must go to a glass that is a lot, a lot thinner than what you could have in the present day, and a few of the glass we’ve in our laboratory is thinner than a human hair,” mentioned Polly Chu, expertise director at Corning.

Proper now, the corporate remains to be creating its versatile cowl glass — we’re simply unsure when it will be able to go on sale. Whereas we may see it on Samsung’s first foldable cellphone, there’s additionally a superb probability it won’t seem till 2020 on the earliest. We’ll have to take a seat again and see.

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The bendable glass that’s shaping as much as cowl foldable…


When will Samsung’s foldable cellphone go on sale?

Samsung informed us that the cellphone will arrive within the first half of 2019. In November, it mentioned that mass manufacturing would happen within the “coming months.” Barring any disasters, the foldable cellphone will doubtless begin promoting in 2019, early rumor pegging March as the discharge date

Once more, whereas we do anticipate a more in-depth have a look at the Galaxy S10 launch, Samsung is more likely to maintain a separate Unpacked occasion to introduce its first-ever foldable cellphone.

How a lot will it price?

It is easy to guess that this shall be an costly system. Gizmodo UK, citing a supply it says it “has verified works for Samsung” reported that the foldable Galaxy cellphone may price between £1,500 and £2,00zero. That converts to roughly $1,930 and $2,570 (AU$2,700 to AU$Three,600).

These costs slot in with what we already know of foldable telephones. The Royole FlexPai’s aimed toward builders prices $1,318 for a tool with 6GB RAM and 128GB of inner storage. The model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage goes for $1,469.

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Since Samsung’s Galaxy Word 9 for energy customers begins at $999, it is a logical guess cutting-edge foldable cellphone would simply begin at $1,500, if no more. We are able to anticipate device-makers like Samsung (and Royole) to justify excessive costs primarily based on complete display actual property. In spite of everything, they cause, you are getting a pill and cellphone in a single — and cellphone costs are solely getting larger.

What is the battery life like?

Samsung goals to provide its foldable cellphone battery life that lasts so long as present Galaxy smartphones, mentioned Jisun Park, the engineering director and head of the system software program group for Samsung’s cellular enterprise. That is regardless of the actual fact there’s extra lively display to empty the battery. The US model of the Word 9 lasted for a median of 19 hours, 20 minutes in CNET’s looping video drain check.

The place’s the battery going to go?

We do not have entry to the design particulars, however batteries do not bend. Count on a big battery to take a seat on one facet and lots of the different elements to stability it out on the opposite. One main criticism we had with the ZTE Axon M was that it felt imbalanced with the half containing the battery drastically thicker and heavier than the opposite half. Samsung must be careful for that.


Justin Denison, a Samsung senior vice chairman, exhibits off the corporate’s new Infinity Flex Show and its first foldable cellphone.

Angela Lang/CNET

Is that image what the foldable cellphone will actually appear to be?

Positively not. Samsung confirmed off a prototype mannequin, commenting that the true elements have been hidden inside. Samsung is not prepared for the general public — or opponents — to see a closing design.

If there’s one breadcrumb formally left us concerning the foldable cellphone’s eventual form, it is within the new One UI working system. The corporate talked about that the rounded rectangular edges that kind a serious design motif are supposed to match its gadgets’ rounded edges. The prototype foldable cellphone has 90-degree edges and thick bezels. We are able to anticipate a softer look.


Royole’s FlexPai cellphone represents one other imaginative and prescient for foldable telephones.

Angela Lang/CNET

What are the foldable Galaxy cellphone’s hardware specs?

The four.5-inch exterior display, 7.Three-inch Infinity Flex inner display are about the one laborious specs we all know. We do not have particulars concerning the digital camera, the battery capability or processor. 

Nonetheless, I would put my cash on the foldable cellphone utilizing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 that we all know may even be within the Galaxy S10. A cellphone that is balancing battery sources and efficiency throughout two screens will want velocity and energy effectivity to maintain the battery life from plummeting as you turn between screens all through the day.

Storage dimension, a headphone jack, exterior storage capability and waterproofing are nonetheless unknowns.

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How does it work?

Basically, you will begin utilizing Samsung’s foldable cellphone such as you would your regular cellphone, after which open it once you need to make the most of the bigger display house. Samsung did not share particulars about how the hardware and software program share messages.

Does it run on Android?

Sure, however there’s extra. Samsung introduced that the foldable cellphone, and future telephones, will run on a redesigned model of Samsung’s customized software program known as One UI. Samsung is making the One UI beta out there this month, however just for Android 9 Pie customers. It is a honest wager that the foldable cellphone will launch with Android Pie.

Which apps will work on the cellphone?

It is nonetheless early days, so we do not have many particulars about apps. That is a part of the rationale Samsung unveiled the system at SDC, its developer convention: To get builders on board with supporting the cellphone. Samsung’s in-house apps, comparable to SmartThings, will presumably work on the system, and longtime associate Flipboard confirmed off its preliminary efforts on an app.

For the reason that largest profit is the power to multitask — working three apps at one time or accessing extra options in a specific app directly — the onus is on builders to create compelling apps that work seamlessly on the foldable cellphone. Samsung is counting on app builders to assist innovate as they did with stylus-compatible apps for the Galaxy Word.

Once you open the system, does the smaller display go darkish?

In the mean time, Samsung’s design will “flip off” the four.5-inch display and open your app on the bigger 7.Three-inch inside display, selecting up the place you left off.

What’s Samsung’s competitors like?

Increasingly entrants are coming into the race. The clamshell ZTE Axon M is not a serious competitor, and neither is the Royole FlexPai, regardless that it beat Samsung to a genuinely foldable show. 

However we do know that LG and Huawei have their very own plans for foldable telephones within the works. Xiaomi’s prototype is on the market and Motorola’s foldable Razr cellphone is rumored to look. 

Search for way more buzz — and perhaps some prototypes — at Cellular World Congress, which begins days after the Galaxy S10 launch. 

Will Samsung promote its foldable shows to different device-makers?

Throughout a pane in November at Samsung’s developer convention, a developer requested when Samsung would promote its show expertise to rivals. It declined to touch upon that risk, however Samsung is among the world’s main show panel producers. It is doubtless it can finally promote the expertise to opponents to make use of in their very own gadgets.

TCL, which sells TVs and is liable for the BlackBerry, Alcatel and Palm manufacturers, has additionally expressed curiosity in promoting foldable panels to different device-makers. TCL mentioned it can wait till 2020 to disclose its first foldable system, which can or might not be a cellphone.

What comes after foldable?


Doable patent design submitting for the ‘foldable’ Motorola Razr cellphone.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Foldable gadgets aren’t the tip of the road by any stretch. Samsung already informed us again in November concerning the subsequent problem it set for itself: rollable and stretchable shows. 

Most business analysts agree that foldable telephones will change into an inevitable a part of the smartphone panorama in 2019 and past.

“This shall be one of the best ways to ship on that client demand however it’s doubtless a multiyear course of earlier than pricing, software program, apps and the product itself have the kinks labored out,” mentioned Stephen Baker, VP of business evaluation at NPD Group.

There’s additionally a way, nevertheless, that one thing else is but to return.

“It’s important that we transfer past gadgets with folding screens being an answer on the lookout for an issue,” mentioned Ben Wooden, chief researcher at CCS Perception.

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Initially printed Nov. eight, 2018.
Replace, Feb. 14, 2019: Most up-to-date replace.

The foldable cellphone revolution: Awkward, however important.

Galaxy X? Galaxy F? Samsung’s foldable cellphone faces 10 huge points.

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