Samsung's next foldable phone could beat the Galaxy S11 to market


In addition to as many as five main variants of its next "conventional" flagship handset, we've known for quite some time now that Samsung is also planning to roll out another unorthodox foldable smartphone in early 2020.

While this is unsurprisingly widely expected to retain the general experimental nature of the original Galaxy Fold, the world's largest mobile device vendor aims to make the whole foldable concept feel much more accessible to the masses in several crucial ways. 

Apart from a radically reimagined design, Samsung reportedly has a big price reduction in the pipeline as well. And now a reputable Korean publication claims the tech giant's "clamshell" response to Motorola's reborn Razr is scheduled to hit local stores before the Galaxy S11 family will be commercially released, which is perhaps the most surprising rumored tidbit of information so far.

Could a global February release be in the cards?

Considering how hard to come by the Huawei Mate X still is after a February (!!!) announcement, as well as the recent delay of the 2019 Motorola Razr, it seems outright Utopian to expect Samsung to be able to distribute its second foldable device around the world in generous numbers just a couple of months from now. While the Korea-based Yonhap News Agency doesn't mention anything about launch inventory in its latest report on the matter, Samsung is tipped to not only "provide more details" on its sophomore foldable effort in the US in "mid-February", but also put this redesigned foldable handset on sale "immediately" after the announcement event.

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Even if we're talking about limited numbers available stateside and in Korea only by the end of February 2020, that would be an impressive turnaround given Samsung's own issues with the first-gen Galaxy Fold, which led to delay after delay after delay. Ultimately, the versatile and super-expensive device was released (in its fully functional form) in several dozen countries, so in a way, it's natural to expect a wider and faster rollout from the second generation.

Besides, this second variant was probably in the works long before the first-gen Galaxy Fold was "stabilized", so there's a good chance Samsung will be able to iron out all kinks in time for a February 2020 commercial debut.

Galaxy Fold 2 or... something else?

It's pretty obvious that Samsung is taking a different approach here from the one that resulted in the objectively cool but extremely challenging design of the Galaxy Fold, but it remains unclear if a name change is also in order. Multiple reports now have hinted at the possibility, nay, near certainty of a second Galaxy Fold generation actually coming in "late 2020" rather than February, which means this oft-rumored and recently leaked clamshell model could carry a different label.

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Unfortunately, we have no idea what the new name might be, as we can't really remember any iconic Samsung-made dumb phones from the distant past capable of folding "like a clam." None as successful or as iconic as the OG Motorola Razr, at least.

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Of course, the price point is far more important than the name, and alas, the latest prediction calls for a number in the "mid-$1000 range." That's better than the $2000 or so tag of the original Galaxy Fold version, but much worse than the $800 or so reported by Korean media just a few weeks ago. At the same time, you have to admit this is a substantially more plausible estimate, also giving us hope Samsung will be able to beat the revived mid-range Razr in terms of processing power and other key specifications.

Said key specs are largely kept under wraps for the time being, by the way, although you can probably count on the size of the extra-tall display pictured before Christmas to circle 6.7 inches. The handset could practically go from a rectangular to a square shape when folded, and a small ticker screen will apparently sit on the back of the phone to show things like the time and various notifications when the main display is not in use.

Interestingly, this unnamed Galaxy Fold sequel spin-off is expected to offer LTE support only, unlike at least three Galaxy S11 (or S20) variants, which could also take a little more time to reach stores after a formal February 11 announcement.

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