Samsung has been teasing its foldable smartphone for weeks, and now the company has unveiled it for the first time today. Samsung calls its foldable phone technology the Infinity Flex Display, and the phone itself has a tablet-sized screen that can be folded up to fit into a pocket.
Samsung demonstrated a “disguised” device during its developer conference today, and dimmed the lights to protect elements of the design. “There’s a device inside here,” said Justin Denison, SVP of mobile product marketing. “And it is stunning.”
Denison then showed a device that folded out into a tablet and back up into a candybar-like form factor. The device includes a cover display that acts as a phone, and a main 7.3-inch tablet display.
Samsung at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2018) in San Francisco, California formally unveiled a foldable smartphone form factor that is based on an Infinity Flex Display. The South Korean giant at its annual developer conference also unveiled its all-new interface design called One UI that is specifically designed to make the experience more natural and comfortable for one-handed use than the existing Samsung Experience UX.
The new interface also comes as a companion to the Infinity Flex Display to power Samsung’s first-generation foldable smartphones. The company has so far managed to abandon the traditional display notch design to favour its “Infinity Display” technology. However, at the developer conference, it revealed the arrival of notches by announcing three notch designs, including the Infinity-U, Infinity-V, and Infinity-O.
The Galaxy smartphone maker also announced that it is opening up Bixby virtual assistant to developers in a bid to expand its presence over time – taking on Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Google is also officially supporting these new foldable devices with Android, and it’s working closely with Samsung for the launch of this phone next year. Google is providing guidance for developers to start using existing features that are built into Android to support these foldable displays.
Samsung isn’t the only phone maker working on foldable devices, though. Huawei reportedly plans to release a foldable handset next year. Lenovo and Xiaomi have also started teased their own prototypes, and LG is also working on flexible OLED displays and TVs that roll up into a box.
While talking about the foldable displays, Samsung is not only the one which announced the release of its foldable phone, there is someone who has already released a Foldable smartphone officially.
The Royole FlexPai, may be hearing the name for the first time, which debuted in Beijing in October, is a foldable phone-tablet hybrid that features a flexible screen. Already available for developers in China, the FlexPai will be consumer-ready by December through the Chinese carrier China Mobile.
Introductory Video of Royoles FlexPai Foldable Smart Phablet
In the US and UK, you can pre-order a developer’s model, which will ship out in December as well. The FlexPai costs $1,318 (£1,209) for the 6GB of RAM/128GB variant and $1,469 (£1,349) for the 8GB of RAM/256GB version. (Australian pricing wasn’t released, but that converts to about AU$2,180 and AU$2,440, respectively.)
The phone features a bendable 7.8-inch AMOLED screen that’s made out of flexible plastic and has a 1440p resolution. Running along the back of the FlexPai is a hinge, where you can bend the device in half as if you’re closing a book.
You can leave it bent and propped up, or close it altogether, wherein it’ll snap together with embedded magnets. When it’s closed, it functions as any standard phone would, and depending on what side of the screen you hold it by, you can navigate on a screen with either a 16:8 or 16:9 aspect ratio.
The FlexPai runs an OS called Water and it’s layered on top of Google Android 9.0. Whichever way you choose to hold or bend the device, the screen adjusts to the many different orientations and viewing options.
Other specs include a 2.8GHz octacore Snapdragon chipset, expandable memory and a 3,800-mAh battery that can charge rapidly using Royole’s proprietary charging technology called Ro Charge.
Below the display are the phone’s two cameras: a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 20-megapixel telephoto lens. In a similar design to the flippable ZTE Axon M, the cameras act as both the rear and front-facing shooters when you fold the screen together. The FlexPai also has a fingerprint scanner and dual-SIM capabilities. It charges via a USB Type-C port and does not have a headphone jack.
There’s a big chance the FlexPai won’t be the only flexible phone you’ll see in the months to come. In addition to Samsung, LG and Huawei are rumored to be working on their own phones, and these devices could debut as soon as the beginning of next year.
Here are some of the pics of the mobile. Check it out.