10 Questions About the Design of Samsung’s Foldable Smartphone

10 Questions About the Design of Samsung’s Foldable Smartphone
What Does a Foldable Smartphone Look Like?
Can We Bend the Screen in Multiple Directions?
What About Those Extension Rumors?
Will the Virtual Fingerprint Sensor Work?
Will It Require Different Software?
How Powerful Will It Be?
What about Display Quality, Reliability?
Will Galaxy X Require New Accessories?
When Will Galaxy X Finally Launch?
How Much Will This Thing Cost?
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10 Questions About the Design of Samsung’s Foldable Smartphone

For years, Samsung has been working on a foldable smartphone that would combine some of the better features of the old flip phones of the ’90s and early 2000s with the virtues of today’s handsets. The result, which some rumors suggest could have the less-than-original name of Galaxy X, might deliver some of the best mobile features available, according to Samsung. Samsung chief DJ Koh has already confirmed that a foldable Galaxy smartphone will hit store shelves in 2018. But questions remain about the handset's design and, so far, Samsung hasn't shared many details about the foldable smartphone's features. This slide show will focus on questions surrounding the Galaxy X's design.

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What Does a Foldable Smartphone Look Like?

Arguably the biggest question regarding the Galaxy X is its look. Samsung has shared examples of what a foldable smartphone might look like, but hasn’t shown the Galaxy X itself. It’s unknown, for example, how thick or thin the handset is or whether it’ll fit easily into a pocket.

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Can We Bend the Screen in Multiple Directions?

A “foldable smartphone” is a nebulous description. Will its design hark back to the old flip phones? Can the smartphone’s screen be folded in any direction users choose, or can it only go in one direction? There has been talk of a screen featuring a hinge or a totally flexible display.

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What About Those Extension Rumors?

According to several reports, Samsung is considering a screen design that would allow users to unroll it to the size of a tablet. The display will open to the size of a typical smartphone. However, some of the more far-fetched reports suggest Samsung has developed a way to extend the display to the size of a tablet.

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Will the Virtual Fingerprint Sensor Work?

There’s a good chance that the Galaxy X’s design will make it difficult, if not impossible, to house a physical fingerprint sensor. Instead, it might have a virtual sensor. But Samsung has yet to get a virtual sensor to work. Whether that changes with the Galaxy X remains to be seen.

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Will It Require Different Software?

Since it’s an open-source platform, Android should work just fine on the Galaxy X. However, because of the Galaxy X’s unique design, Samsung might need to make changes to Android or to applications that run on the handset. Mobile software compatibility could be the issue that makes or breaks the Galaxy X user experience.

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How Powerful Will It Be?

Samsung’s Galaxy X could be a powerful device, but it might also require additional components that could drain its battery. There’s a good chance that Samsung will bundle the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or an even later-model chip in the device.

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What about Display Quality, Reliability?

If Samsung is planning a bendable and foldable smartphone, then the company must use a flexible OLED screen. But since flexible OLEDs are hard to come by, there’s no telling whether the Galaxy X will deliver outstanding visuals. It’s also unknown whether visual quality will degrade over time as the display is continually bent and folded. Samsung faces some design challenges.

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Will Galaxy X Require New Accessories?

Since the Galaxy X will present an entirely new smartphone experience, customers may need to purchase different accessories for the device. Traditional case designs likely won’t work with the Galaxy X, and it’s unknown whether currently available charging pads will work. Customers might discover compatibility issues.

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When Will Galaxy X Finally Launch?

This is a question that market watchers have been asking for more than two years without an answer. There were countless reports of Samsung’s plans to launch the Galaxy X in 2016 or in 2017, which came to naught. Samsung chief DJ Koh now says the smartphone will be available in 2018, if all goes well with its development. But again, that could change.

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How Much Will This Thing Cost?_10

If it actually reached the market next year, the Galaxy X will be a new, not to say unproven design, with features that users won’t find elsewhere. There aren't a lot of flexible OLED displays on the market right now because they’re expensive to manufacture. It's possible the Galaxy X’s price will top even the iPhone X’s $999 price tag.

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