While the Royole FlexPai might have leapfrogged all the big phone makers with the first developer-ready foldable smartphone, Samsung has continued its quest for a folding phone of its own. In a secret demo, leaked by a customer to a Korean newspaper, more details about the handset have emerged. Here's what we know so far.
The new phone has an AMOLED clamshell that was previously shown off at the Samsung Developer Conference.
The Cover Display as Samsung dubs it, will be a 4.58-inch panel running at 840 x 1960 resolution. It will be good for alerts, caller ID and "basic" app use.
The internal Main Display is a much larger 7.3-inches with a 1536 x 2152 resolution. As you switch between the two displays, apps will shift seamlessly between the two with a more data rich view on the big screen and simplified presentation on the smaller. You'll also be able to see several apps on the display simultaneously.
Although TVs seem to be the biggest story coming from CES this year, 2019 will undoubtedly be the year when folding smartphones become mainstream. And while all the major phone makers have plans for their own folding phones, tech upstart Royole has released their FlexPai folding smartphone.
We had a brief glimpse of this device last year following a launch in Beijing last October. It's now been shown off again during CES 2019 - and it's looking markedly better.
According to the leaker at CES 2019, “When unfolded, Samsung’s foldable phone does not show any crease indicating it had been bent".
The leaker added that what was shown was a prototype that couldn't be completely unfolded yet. But the company told them that would be resolved before the expected late 2019 release.
Samsung's folding 'Galaxy X' is one of the industry's worst-kept secrets. The company showed off a prototype at IFA 2018 and explicitly named "foldable OLED smartphones" as one of its key products for the next financial year.
Previously, it had been assumed that the Galaxy X would be offered in extremely limited quantities to gauge consumers' interest in this new, experimental form factor. However, a new report from Samsung suggests that there are much grander plans in store for this technology.
Samsung holds a number of patents for a folding three-panel design as well as the single fold we've already seen.
2019 will be, without a doubt, the year we'll see the first folding screen devices hit the mainstream. But I'm still a little sceptical that the initial batch of devices will meet our expectations. First-generation products often get lots of early, positive attention, but shortcomings and compromises become evident when Version 2.0 inevitably arrives soon after.