New Samsung folding phone: What we know about the Galaxy X

Technology giant Samsung has unveiled a prototype of its first ever folding mobile phone at a conference in San Francisco. The folding screen allows the new device, called the Samsung Galaxy X, to switch from a smartphone into a tablet-style device. Analysts expect the device, unveiled at the Samsung Developer Conference, to be launched in 2019, but there has been no confirmation yet.

With speculation currently at fever pitch, here’s what we know so far about the company’s flagship device.

What is Samsung’s new folding phone?

The phone was unveiled at a conference in San Francisco (Reuters) Samsung say the new phone will allow users to do more complex work than it was possible to do before on such a compact device. The new device features a full touchscreen display which can then be unfolded to reveal what the company said was a 7.3 inch screen that can show up to three apps at once.

When closed the device looks just like a normal smart phone with a single screen on the outside, however it can then be opened up like a book to reveal a separate, much larger display on the inside. The company’s Senior Vice President Justin Denison, said it would use a continuity feature so any app being used on the smaller screen will automatically launch in the same place once the larger screen is unfolded. Having the wider screen means users can have two things open at the same time to make it easier to use as a tablet, or have more space to read on screen or view apps.

Foldable phones promise the screen of a small tablet in a pocket-sized device, but Samsung has kept its cards close to its chests and have not allowed the media or developers to touch the device or see it up close – meaning details are unfortunately limited.

Are foldable phones the future?

The phone can fold in two (Reuters) Samsung is among a handful of firms to have said that foldable phones will be coming to market soon. China’s Huawei has said it is planning to launch a 5G smartphone with a foldable screen in mid-2019.

Samsung and Huawei, however, have been beaten to the market by Royole, a Chinese display making start-up, which last week unveiled a foldable Android phone with a 7.8 inch screen, priced from around £1,300. Royole said it would start filling orders in late December although little is known about the firm’s projected sales. Not only this but LG exhibited folding screen technology at a conference in 2016 and Lenovo has reportedly been working on the concept as well.

When is the Samsung foldable phone out?

No official release date has been given for the new phone, but experts think it will be out in 2019.

Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, confirmed the 2019 timeframe at a Google conference being held in California. “It’s an exciting concept and we expect to see foldable products from several Android manufacturers,” he said. “In fact, we’re already working closely with Samsung on a new device they plan to launch early next year.”

How much will the new phone cost?

Samsung has not provided details on pricing of the new phone but don’t expect it to be cheap.

High price tags are expected to prevent foldable phones from immediately becoming big hits, and some analysts doubt there is huge appetite for such products.

Royole’s folding phone, unveiled last week with a 7.8 inch screen, was priced from around £1,300.

More about: | Samsung | Mobile Phones

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