Rumors have been circulating for over a year about the Samsung Galaxy X, which will be Samsung’s first foldable phone. Unlike the new ZTE Axon M that has a hinge between two screens, the Galaxy X will have a bendable screen that can fold like a plastic sheet. Most have speculated that it would have a book-like form factor, but a new patent application submitted to the Korean Intellectual Property Office shows more of a flip phone. Is Samsung about to make flip phones cool again?
Sketches from the submission show the back of the Galaxy X, simply called a Flexible Electronic Device, with a hinge that looks similar to Microsoft’s on the Surface Book. Rumors point to a Galaxy X launch in 2018, probably with a very limited release, and a phone/tablet combination will apparently have to wait. Initial availability could be limited to the Korean market.
The front of the phone isn’t shown in the patent sketches, but the back shows a long form factor that can basically be folded in half. Samsung has been developing flexible displays for years, so this could allow a continuous screen that’s up to twice as tall as current smartphones, but pocketable at a standard size.
It still isn’t certain if this is the actual design of the Galaxy X or another folding phone in development. We do know that a folding phone is on the way as Dongjin Koh, Samsung’s Mobile CEO, confirmed it over a year ago. The design is still experimental in many ways and it’s unknown how consumers will react to it. So don’t expect the Galaxy S9 to fold and the next Note will likely be a solid slab as well. It’s possible that we’ll see the Galaxy X at CES in January 2018, which is only a couple of months away.