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After Galaxy Fold, Samsung has two additional collapsible smartphones

Enlarge / Galaxy Fold in many colors.Samsung It seems that many companies in the smartphone industry are moving towards developing foldable smartphones. There are two real devices so far: Samsung has announced Galaxy Fold and Huawei builds Mate X. Oppo is experimenting with a foldable prototype that looks like Mate X; Motorola is planning a full reconstruction of the Moto Razr; and Xiaomi has plagued a crazy prototype with two folds in the display. Even Corning works on a flexible glass cover that ever protects all of these devices from scratches. With so many manufacturers trying out the foldable smartphone form factor, there are a number of implementation ideas. While Samsung already has Galaxy Fold, a new report from Bloomberg claims that Samsung does not put all its eggs in a basket. The company is reportedly dealing with three different foldable form factors. Samsung's three foldable form factors Of course, the front of the development is Galaxy Fold which has a collapsible screen on the inside of the unit when it is closed. It is basically a tablet that is folded in half as a book. Since you cannot see the big screen when the device is closed, Samsung added a second, smaller screen to the outside of the device. There are also cameras on the front, inside and back of the unit. Before Corning gets its action together with flexible glass, these folding screens need a plastic cover, and the shape factor of the built-in display has an advantage,…

 The galaxy fold in many colors.

Enlarge / Galaxy Fold in many colors.

Samsung

It seems that many companies in the smartphone industry are moving towards developing foldable smartphones. There are two real devices so far: Samsung has announced Galaxy Fold and Huawei builds Mate X. Oppo is experimenting with a foldable prototype that looks like Mate X; Motorola is planning a full reconstruction of the Moto Razr; and Xiaomi has plagued a crazy prototype with two folds in the display. Even Corning works on a flexible glass cover that ever protects all of these devices from scratches.

With so many manufacturers trying out the foldable smartphone form factor, there are a number of implementation ideas. While Samsung already has Galaxy Fold, a new report from Bloomberg claims that Samsung does not put all its eggs in a basket. The company is reportedly dealing with three different foldable form factors.

Samsung’s three foldable form factors

Of course, the front of the development is Galaxy Fold which has a collapsible screen on the inside of the unit when it is closed. It is basically a tablet that is folded in half as a book. Since you cannot see the big screen when the device is closed, Samsung added a second, smaller screen to the outside of the device. There are also cameras on the front, inside and back of the unit. Before Corning gets its action together with flexible glass, these folding screens need a plastic cover, and the shape factor of the built-in display has an advantage, as the screen is protected from scratches when closed.

Bloomberg reports that Samsung has a second device in work that “folds away from the user similar to Huawei Technologies Co.s Mate X.” Huawei’s Mate X and Oppo prototype have the folding screen on the outside of the device, like a skin that wraps around the entire phone. In addition to being incredible, this advantage has the advantage of just needing a single screen. When closed, the “front” and “back” screen will appear, showing apps in a traditional smartphone-like form factor. When the open screen becomes a large tablet. The only part of the phone that is not covered in pixels is a single vertical stack that holds cameras, the USB port, and other large components. With a front and rear screen when closed, this simple set of cameras doubles as both a regular camera and a selfie camera.

While Mate X’s cover design really looks like the future, the major drawback is currently scarce. Without a flexible glass protection solution, Mate X will be covered in a scratch-resistant plastic on all sides.

Bloomberg says this Mate X-style device “already exists as a prototype” inside Samsung. It was apparently considered a candidate for the company’s first collapsible unit, but current plans are to launch the second form factor after the Galaxy Fold. Bloomberg notes that with a single screen, this device will be thinner than Galaxy Fold, which is a giant 17 mm thick when closed.

For a third form factor, Bloomberg reports that Samsung is working on a “vertically declining phone”. We imagine it would look like an old-school flip-phone, just with the inside all shown. Motorola obviously has a foldable version of the Razr flip phone in the works, and while it didn’t actually show a device, it added some design patents that could give us an idea of ​​what Motorola and Samsung are planning. Bloomberg claims that Samsung’s vertical folding unit will be out “late this year or early next year” and may or may not have an extra screen on the outside.

It is worth noting that Samsung has never let the flip phone die, even in the age of slab-style smartphones. In China, the company still produces devices such as “W2019”, a dual-screen phone smart with a keyboard that looks like something from an alternative reality where flip-phones never went away. If you think $ 1,980 Galaxy Fold and $ 2,600 Huawei Mate X are expensive, get ready: Samsung’s dual-screen flip phone beats them all with a lot of 2,700 price tags.

Galaxy Fold’s durability problem

Enlarge / Galaxy Fold mid-fold. How will this screen stay over time?

Before Samsung gets its other two form factors, it still needs to handle the launch of the Galaxy Fold. While that device is not due until April 26, Samsung still has some bugs to train. Bloomberg claims that Samsung is still working on sustainability issues with the folding monitor and says the company is trying to eliminate a fold shown on the panel after it has been folded about 10,000 times. The report says that Samsung is also considering free screen switching for Fold if the display is still a problem.

From a sustainability perspective, Samsung chose one of the hardest form factors for its first collapsible device. By inserting the collapsible screen inside the unit and closing it as a book, it puts a much sharper increase in the display than a wraparound screen needs to address. Galaxy Fold still completely closed at the hinge. Samsung’s hinges are designed to hold a 3 mm gap so as not to completely tighten the screen. It is still much more crease than Mate X, which only has to do with bending around an 11 mm thick unit.

With slab model smartphones, the market saturates quite a lot, selling smartphone sales across the industry. Manufacturers are looking for the next big thing, and it seems that many people are clinging to either 5G or this foldable smartphone development. Sure, things are expensive right now, but at least smartphone designs are interesting again.

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Faela