Samsung ‘Galaxy X’ Leaked Details: The Future Is Folded

Samsung ‘Galaxy X’ Leaked Details: The Future Is Folded
Image: The Bell

The ink on the marketing brochures for the recently released Samsung Galaxy S9 is barely dry and the rumours are already flying about next year’s update. For a while, there’s been speculation that a folding OLED display would be coming soon. According to leaks from South Korea, “coming soon” has been defined as Mobile World Congress 2019.

Folding OLED displays have a wide range of potential applications. I can see it being used in e-book readers to give readers an experience closer to that of physical books. But for smartphones, it offers a way to keep devices small and give users an option for a larger display.

While zooming by using gestures and responsive websites have made mobile browsing pretty good, there’s no substitute for a little bit of extra screen real estate. A folding display would deliver that.

According to the Google Translate version of this page, at The Bell, the new phone has been given the code name “Winner”. This is a switch from the previous code name, Valley, signalling a move from development to production.

The new phone is rumoured to have three 3.5-inch displays. Two will fold into each other to create a wider display when opened, with the third on the back so you can use the device without having to unfold it.

If the rumours are true, this would be the first significant update to the smartphone design since the introduction of the first iPhone over a decade ago. If you take that first iPhone, it’s easy to see the evolution of the smartphone from what we had then to where we are today. But a three-screen foldable smartphone would be a massive shift that would put most other smartphone makers on the back foot.


  • Even if the tech was ready for mass production in 2019, which I doubt, battery tech has barely moved in years. Mobile batteries can barely keep a phone with 1 screen running for a day, let alone 3 screens

    • There might be a couple of ways to help with that in the design.

      First, the internal 2 screens would only be on when the phone is “open” at which point the outer screen would probably turn off to prevent you touching it by accident. For the most part, the phone would be “closed” most of the time.

      Secondly, the screens are smaller than the current norm, so they would use a little less power individually (still more on total, but not as much as say, 2-3 full size screens).

      Thirdly, they might be able to slip a little more battery space into the “cover” half of the phone which would help.

      Then again, maybe you are completely right and this thing will drain its entire battery in less than a day.

    • My Kobo lasts (literally) months between charges. It’s incredibly liberating not having to worry about plugging it in. I’m sure we’ll look back in 20 years and laugh at things like daily phone/tablet/watch (for some) charging, but that day seems a long way off right now doesn’t it.

      It’s funny, the engineers work so hard to make phones as slim and light as possible, then most of us chuck a cover over them the moment they come out of the box. I’d hate to have to design a cover for the phone pictured above!

      • I have a Kobo too – much better than Kindle 😉
        But the display technology is completely different from mobile phones.
        An e-ink display doesn’t use power while the display is static, power is only used to change the display. So in an e-reader when the display only changes when you flip the page the amount of power used is very small.
        E-ink also has a very slow refresh rate and has very limited (and poor qaulity) support for colour.
        So unfortunately e-ink is no going to be the answer for low power phone screens.
        But I’m old enought to remember when “mobile” phones were very far from mobile so who knows what will happen in 10 years time!

        • e-ink is seeing some significant jumps in refresh, resolution, and colour support. But it’s still so very far away from being ready for a phone screen. Like, i could see them happily supporting a nice colour screen to display comic books with a fairly fast page turn rate in 5 years, but I feel like the refresh rate is a permanent barrier in developing the tech .

          • There have been cases that have taken advantage of e-ink benefits, and I think there are things they can do with it for basic information, but as a prime option I think its waaaaay off. And by the time its an option, something else will have come along to raise the bar even further.

            But you could use it for a small screen on the back for example, to display time, notifications, etc, and you can cut back the power usage that uses for the main screen.

    • I wish manufacturers would release phones instead of a 16/32/64 gig option, they go for the battery size. I would happily buy a new phone and get the larger battery that makes the phone 3mm thicker, better than a chuck asf power pack to charge it again.

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