Samsung has been rumored to work on a foldable phone
ever since it took the stage at the 2013 CES expo and announced the branding of its YOUM
department for bendable AMOLED displays. Even back then, it had a few fold-in prototypes to show, and has been working on mastering the crease that results when you fold the display, so as the picture doesn't deteriorate there when the display is unfurled.
Last August, however, it reportedly switched gears to fold-out device prototyping
, as it deemed fold-in to be impractical for daily use, since you would have to unfold your device each time you need to check on a notification, for instance. Ever since, Samsung has allegedly been crafting a 5" Galaxy X
phone that can unfurl into a 7" tablet, preparing it for an eventual commercial launch. The release date was speculated to be Q3 2017
, but issues with management reshuffle and political turmoil in Korea are affecting Samsung's decision making process, so the foldable phone may not hit the shelves before 2018 rolls in
How exactly would such 5"-into-7" mechanics work? Well, the freshest Samsung patent filing gives us a hint - it depicts an evidently thin device that, when folded, looks like a regular phone, complete with the home button underneath the display, the earpiece and sensors above, and a rear camera on the other end. When rotated around a hinge, however, the screen area on the back straightens up with the one in the front to make one large uninterrupted display canvas, and the rear camera goes to the front, while the home button stays down left. Looks pretty svelte, and we really hope this one becomes reality sooner rather than later, for the sake of all those avid multimedia consumers who want to leave their tablets at home while traveling.