Rumors about bending and folding displays have been popping up for years now, so the technology has to happen eventually, right? Well, if the latest rumor ends up being accurate, Samsung might finally be able to bring the futuristic tech to consumer devices as early as 2017. They’re reportedly set to unveil two devices in the first part of next year, including a phone that folds in half and a 5-inch device that unfolds into an 8-inch device.
Personally, I think the first device sounds like a gimmicky, proof-of-concept thing that no one will actually buy (looking at you, LG G Flex) but the second device that can double as both an easily-pocketable smartphone and a decent sized tablet? That’s a big deal.
Previously the biggest hurdle to this had to do with the plastics and components in the device, not the screen itself. Samsung has shown off bending displays before, even as far back as 2012, but they’d never managed to actually work it into a device that didn’t snap in half because the processor and RAM weren’t designed to fold with the screen. With that roadblock out of the way, there are tons of possibilities that are open.
The other sticking point, however, is the interface, and that’s arguably Samsung’s weakest area. It’s rare for Samsung to ever make a device where you don’t hear any complaints about the interface or UI in some way, even with the lauded Galaxy S7 Edge and its earlier iterations. I generally really like Samsung and don’t mind TouchWiz, but like anyone else, I’d be cautious about they approached the UX on a folding display. It could either be great, or it could be a complete trainwreck for the first couple generations until the design team figured out how to make it work.
Either way, we should all be excited that we’re one step closer to razor thin, super high-tech holographic phone things. Let’s just hope the battery doesn’t suffer.