DJ Koh has been at it again. After letting slip about the Note 9 before it launched, he has now also revealed some details about Samsung’s highly anticipated foldable phone — which is on track for being a world-first.
It doesn’t have an official name, but it is generally referred to as the Samsung Galaxy X. These are the details we have so far.
Update January 11 2019: During CES 2019 Samsung confirmed a February 20 launch date for the Galaxy S10, which will be unveiled at a separate launch event to Mobile World Congress.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the foldable phone will also be launched at the same time.
Update January 10 2019: Samsung’s Director of Product Strategy and Marketing, Suzanne de Silva, confirmed the release of the device during an interview at CES 2019.
de Silva stated that the Galaxy X/Flex will be arriving in the first half of 2019. We have more details over here.
Update November 13 2018: There is a rumour that the phone may cost 2 million Won, which is roughly $2,441. You can read all about it right here.
Update November 8 2018: As expected, Samsung finally unveiled its foldable phone at the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The debut was short lived, though. It was only on stage for a few seconds, but we did find out a few things – it’s 7.3-inches while in tablet mode and has a third OLED screen on the side of the device that can be used while folded.
The folding element of the device is possible because of what Samsung is calling an Infinity Flex Display, which allows use without degradation.
It will also have an new UI called UI One which is designed for one-handed use – particularly in tablet mode.
It will also be able to run up to three apps simultaneously with something that Samsung is calling a ‘Multi Active Window’.
You can get dive deeper into the details right here:
After months of hints and rumours, Samsung has finally debuted its first foldable phone at the Samsung Developer's Conference in San Francisco.Read more
Update October 12 2018: At the Samsung Galaxy A9 launch in Malaysia DJ Koh revealed in an interview with Cnet that the the device will be a tablet that folds down into a phone.
We still don’t know how the tech behind this will work, but there are some theories in the original story below, which was published on September 6 2018.
Samsung hasn't exactly been shy about acknowledging that it has a foldable smartphone in the works. Just last month the head of Samsung's mobile division, DJ Koh, said that the company might debut the new device at its Developer Conference in November.Read more
It was during an interview with CNBC that the head of Samsung’s mobile division said that the Galaxy X will probably be revealed at Samsung’s Developer Conference in November.
This is a whole lot sooner than anyone expected. I was personally waiting for a CES reveal and a MWC launch in 2019.
And I wasn’t the only one.
Renowned Chinese leaker Ice Universe tweeted their own prediction back in July.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 4, 2018
The timing could be spot in, especially as the phone has now reportedly passed certification as is on the Samsung Support site.
That being said, a reveal is not a launch. Koh has said that the development process of this phone is “complicated” but that Samsung is almost done with it. We apparently may even see it hit shelves by the end of this year.
Koh also confirmed leaks from earlier this year that the phone will indeed be foldable. Even though he didn’t comment on specifics, he did say that it will have a “foldable status”.
Interestingly, Koh himself questioned the need for a foldable phone during the interview.
“You can use most of the uses … on foldable status. But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they (consumers) buy it?,” he said to CNBC at IFA.
“So every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end customer. So when the end customer uses it, (they think) ‘wow, this is the reason Samsung made it’.”
While these are the only rock solid facts we have so far, there have been some fascinating “leaks” and rumours surrounding this phone for months now.
Here are the most prominent ones so far. But do keep in mind that they may turn out to be inaccurate.
It Won’t Be Named The Galaxy X
Even though the phone is generally referred to as the Galaxy X, one prominent leaker doesn’t think that will be the name.
Hello ,Galaxy F!
— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) July 26, 2018
The ‘F’ stands for ‘Foldable’.
It Will Have An Unbreakable OLED Screen
Back in July Samsung announced that it had created unbreakable glass — a claim that was stressed tested and ultimately backed up by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the U.S.
The OLED screen includes a strong plastic panel on top, as opposed to glass, which is what makes it flexible.
This sounds exactly like the kind of screen a foldable phone would require.
As an added note, one rumour surmises that the end result will be a 7.3-inch OLED screen.
It Will Have An Extra Hidden Display
The patent was published in March 2017 and then republished in July 2018.
The patent images reveal a display that will activate when the device is folded. It seems like it can show info such as the date and time, app icons and text messages — things you may want to see without having to unfold the phone.
Some of the images in the patent also make it look like the hidden display could have a pop up functionality, much like the camera on the Oppo Find X. But that’s pure speculation.
It May Or May Not Have Four Cameras
A few days ago Ice Universe alluded to an upcoming Samsung phone with 4 cameras. But when pressed on whether it will be the Galaxy X, they said no (And are also referring to it as the F)
Camera Camera Camera Camera
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) September 2, 2018
Not S10 or Galaxy F
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) September 2, 2018
Ice Universe has a pretty solid track record, so assuming they’re correct about this… which 2019 Samsung phone is going to be rocking 4 Cameras?
It Will Be Racing Huawei To Market
While everyone has been talking about the X, Huawei has also said that it’s going to be the first to put a foldable phone on the market.
And with the recent announcement of the Mate 20 at IFA, with an unveiling set for October 16 in London, one has to wonder if it will be the phone they’re talking about.
Considering that the Mate 20 date beats Samsung’s Developer Conference by mere weeks — the timing is certainly perfect for Huawei to swoop in to steal the hype.
It’s Going To Be Expensive
Considering that the top line Note 9 costs $1,799 I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re going to see the revolutionary phone hit the 2K mark.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of rumours around pricing, but the Korea Times did publish a quote from Kim Jang-yeol, thr head of research at Golden Bridge Investment.
Jang-yeol apparently said that the price could sit around the 2 million won mark, which is just shy of $2,500 Australian dollars.
That’s huge, but to be fair, there is no mention in the article of what research or evidence that figure is based on.
Still, there’s no way that this thing is going to be cheap.
Sadly there’s really nothing too solid on the spec front yet. But we have two months until Samsung’s Developer Conference, so watch this space.