When it comes to smartphones, it seems like people are always in search of the next big thing. Be it facial recognition without the notch, on-screen fingerprint scanners, true edge-to-edge displays and holographic displays, consumers can't wait to get their hands on the latest and greatest.
One rumored smartphone technology that's been buzzing for a few years now has been foldable smartphones. Maybe the hype is partially due to the fact that we're bored with rigid, rectangular phones.
Samsung and LG have been teasing us with the unveiling of foldable smartphones since 2013, and all the rumors seem to go up in smoke every year, full of false starts and empty promises.
Samsung premiered the technology four years ago at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and based on what we gathered through the years, it was supposed to be called the "Foldable Valley" and it should've been available in early 2016. Alas, it was always a no-show.
But will 2019 the year of the foldable smartphone, finally? Based on what Samsung showed recently, it may very well be, or at least, we're pretty close to it.
Behold Samsung's foldable smartphone
Samsung's annual developer conference was held on Wednesday in San Francisco, and the star of the whole show was definitely the sneak peek of its first foldable smartphone, rumored to be named the Galaxy X or Galaxy F.
It was not full-on unveiling as the gadget was still wrapped in mystery. As Samsung's Senior Vice President of mobile product marketing Justin Denison held it in his hands, the lights were dimmed and it was wrapped in a dark and squarishly ugly protective case.
But everyone saw that Samsung's foldable smartphone is indeed working now. This time, it's not just a computer generated mockup nor a 3D printed concept design. There it was in Denison's palms. It has Android! It has apps! And by golly, it does fold up!
Infinity Flex display
More of a conceptual prototype at this point, Samsung did not reveal much about its foldable smartphone other than the fact that it exists.
Denison demonstrated that the gadget folded out into a tablet with a 7.3-inch display and it can be folded back into a smaller flip-phone-like gadget with a 4.5-inch display.
Samsung said that its foldable screen technology is called the "Infinite Flex Display" and the company is touting it as an "entirely new mobile platform."
What else do we know so far?
Based on the demo, it looks like up to three separate apps can be run at the same time on bigger display with what Samsung calls the "multi-active window." This makes sense since the dimensions of the phone's display in its tablet form are almost triple the dimensions of its outer display.
Samsung also said that it will start mass producing its foldable in "a matter of months," so we're expecting that it will finally hit the market in 2019.
Another sign that it will be released soon? Well, Google is now officially supporting foldable phones in Android, and the company is reportedly working hand in hand with Samsung to launch the phone next year.
Now the big question - How much will it cost?
Since nothing's been officially announced yet, pricing for this groundbreaking smartphone is still up in the air.
Rumors were floating around earlier this year that Samsung's foldable phone will cost around $1,850, the most expensive smartphone your money could buy. (Well, you essentially get four standard-sized displays, a tablet and a smartphone rolled into one anyway, right?)
With how much cutting-edge tech that's packed into Samsung's foldable smartphone, I think it will be in "strictly early adopter with disposable cash" territory for a while, don't you think?
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