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Samsung’s foldable phone is real and opens into a tablet

Samsung says it’s going to quickly be mass producing its foldable phone.


Juan Garzon/CNET

Samsung on Wednesday gave the primary glimpse of its upcoming foldable phone, saying it’s going to be mass produced “in the coming months.”

Justin Denison, Samsung senior vice chairman of cellular advertising, confirmed off the phone, which is a tablet when it is absolutely opened and then a phone when it is closed. It makes use of a new show know-how known as Infinity Flex Display that permits you to open and shut the system over and over with none degradation.

“The Infinity Flex Display represents an entirely new mobile platform,” Denison mentioned. “We’ve been living in a world where the size of your screen can only be as large as the device itself. We’ve added a new dimension to help you browse, watch and multitask like never before.” 

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The system he confirmed is not the ultimate product. It’s probably the phone Samsung releases will likely be sleeker and have smaller bezels than the system Denison confirmed.

“The success or failure of Samsung’s first folding phone will depend on how well Samsung has been able to button up the device.” CCS Insights analyst Ben Wood mentioned. “If it’s a slick, attractively designed device it will be a magnet for gadget lovers. If it is bulky and hard to use it will be a tougher sell.”

The foldable phone can run as much as three apps on the identical time, one thing Samsung calls Multi Active Window. Google’s Glen Murphy, head of Android UX, took the stage after Denison and mentioned Android will support the new foldable display technology

Denison added that Samsung’s additionally engaged on know-how for rollable and stretchable shows.

Samsung made the bulletins at its fifth annual builders convention, going down Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco. The occasion, which began off small at a San Francisco resort, in 2016 expanded to Moscone Center West, the place Apple beforehand held its developer convention. Last year, 5,000 folks attended SDC.

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Samsung hopes to convey customers into the fold.


Juan Garzon/CNET

SDC displays Samsung’s large push to get developers to make software specifically for its devices. In the previous, that is meant making apps that work on the sting of Samsung’s curved smartphone shows or reap the benefits of its S Pen stylus. This 12 months, that focus has turned to Bixby and synthetic intelligence.

Samsung has been chasing the holy grail of a foldable phone because it teased one at CES 2013 by showing off a flexible OLED display. The system comes at a robust time for the cellular market. Apple and Samsung handset sales are slowing down, and the worldwide smartphone market is mentioned to be in recession. Foldable telephones might mark the subsequent large innovation in cellular units — as long as they’re not too gimmicky.

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Justin Denison, Samsung senior vice chairman of cellular advertising: “We’ve added a new dimension to help you browse, watch and multitask like never before.”


Angela Lang/CNET

D.J. Koh, CEO of Samsung’s cellular enterprise, told CNET in an October interview that you’ll use the system as a tablet with multitasking functionality earlier than having the ability to fold it up into a extra moveable phone. He once again stressed that the foldable phone wouldn’t be a “gimmick product” that may “disappear after six to nine months after it’s delivered.” 

“When we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customers,” Koh mentioned final month. 

Foldable phone specs

During a Wednesday afternoon panel with builders, Samsung gave extra particulars about its upcoming foldable system. The firm goals to have battery life that lasts so long as present Galaxy smartphones, mentioned Jisun Park, engineering director and head of the system software program group for Samsung’s cellular enterprise. That’s regardless of the actual fact there’s extra display screen that drains the battery.

Samsung supplied some particular particulars about its foldable phone shows throughout a panel at its developer convention.


Shara Tibken/CNET

The Cover Display, what you will see when the system is closed and seems to be extra like a common phone, is four.58 inches and has a 21:9 side ratio. Samsung says it has a decision of 840×1960, with a display screen density of 420 dpi. 

“Compared to the Main Display, the experience is more … optimized for focused and handy and quick access and interaction, to leverage the small screen,” Park mentioned. When the system is unfolded, the Cover Display will flip off and go black, he added. 

The Main Display, the larger display screen you see when unfolding the phone, is 7.three inches and has a four.2:three side ratio. Samsung says the decision is 1536×2152, with a display screen density of 420 dpi. 

“Unfolding the phone provides more information with visual cues,” Park mentioned. He famous that it is key for Samsung to get builders on board to construct its ecosystem to reap the benefits of the a number of screens. 

Claus Enevoldsen, a advertising govt from Flipboard, confirmed off an app his firm has been engaged on for Samsung’s foldable phone. Samsung and Flipboard have labored collectively for years, with the information app given outstanding positioning on Galaxy telephones. 

When closed, you’d see a single pane of knowledge within the Flipboard app, very like what you usually see on the smartphone model. When you unfold the phone, you get a greater panel — that is exhibited to the identical level the place you left off on the Cover Display — and multi-window help. 

“We want to lean in and take advantage of everything possible with this form factor,” Enevoldsen mentioned.

First revealed at 11:30 a.m. PT
Update at four:25 p.m. PT: Adds spec particulars from a panel.
Update at 5:35 p.m. PT: Adds analyst remark.

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