Samsung Galaxy X: Everything we know so far

By: Steven Winkelman and Brenda Stolyar | digitaltrends.com

Rumored Galaxy X foldable display lets you take awesome selfies.

Think the Samsung Edge display is cool? Something cooler could be coming very soon. Samsung has been working on foldable displays for a number of years, and the South Korean giant might finally be ready to showcase its first completely flexible smartphone in 2019.

Information about the phone, which has been dubbed the Galaxy X or “Treble Eight,” has slowly trickled out. Here’s everything we think we know about it so far.

DESIGN

What will the Samsung Galaxy X look like? Well, that seems to be up for debate. There have been dozens of rumors about the handset, mostly coming from patents and insider gossip, however, we’re still not entirely sure what the phone will look like. Here are a few possibilities.

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Let’s Go Digital

One of the most recent rumors comes courtesy of Let’s Go Digital. The tech site uncovered a recent patent Samsung submitted to WIPO.

The patent shows a smartphone with a display that folds over the back of the phone. The folded panel can be used as a viewfinder for the rear camera or can show unique information or graphics. When folded, it becomes part of the primary display.

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The Wall Street Journal recently published a report with more details on what the Galaxy X might look like. Sources close to the matter say the device features a screen that measures about 7 inches diagonally and can be folded in half — like a wallet. When the phone is folded, the outside shows a small display bar on one side and the other side holds the cameras.

Corroborating the report, a Samsung patent discovered by LetsGoDigital matches the same description. The patent, titled “Foldable Electronic Device Including Hidden Display and Information Display Method Thereof,” illustrates a foldable smartphone with a second display that is partly covered until the device is fully folded — which is when it will activate. From the images, it looks like the display is hidden under the top rear of the device when it’s unfolded and then comes out once it’s closed. While it hasn’t been confirmed, this could be how the hidden display will function.

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The hidden display is where you will see information like texts or notifications, whether you’re in portrait or landscape mode. That way, you’ll be able to see important alerts without having to unfold the phone each time. The patent also states the touchscreen will be compatible with an S pen.

Another report comes from the Korean Times, which spoke to Park Hyung-woo, an analyst at Shinhan Financial in South Korea. Park believes the Galaxy X will have two inside panels forming the 7.3-inch screen when the phone is unfolded, along with one outside panel to use when it’s folded.

According to South Korean news site The Bell, the final design for the Galaxy X foldable smartphone was tentatively confirmed in May. In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Galaxy X will apparently be using OLED panels in its construction — but what is notable is the number of them. According to The Bell’s report, the Galaxy X will feature three 3.5-inch OLED panels, two that form a massive 7-inch screen when unfolded, and a single one on the rear of the device that allows for the phone to be used when folded. If such a design is accurate, we could soon be adding a device with a 7-inch screen to our list of the smallest smartphones — not something we thought we would be doing.

Screens without bezels, like the ones used on the Galaxy S8, may be used to create a seamless, one-screen look. A recent patent confirmed that Samsung is experimenting with even more bezel-less phones — possibly even a completely bezel-less front with an under-display fingerprint sensor. If the Galaxy X were to pull this off, it could usher in a new era of smartphone design.

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Previous speculative Galaxy X designs

Previous Galaxy X designs showed a massive 7.3-inch OLED screen that folded down into a shape reminiscent of the popular “clamshell” phone designs of the past. The above image shows a Galaxy X that’s less sleek than current smartphone designs, with the back of the phone sporting a curved and wavy design. On November 9, 2017, Sammobile released a whole host of images that appeared to show the Galaxy X. A previous patent from Samsung Display was registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office at the end of September 2016. The diagrams included are dated mid-June and show a clamshell-like device that resembles a makeup compact, folding out into a traditional rectangular smartphone shape.

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Before this, a different patent filed by Samsung showed how a folded and unfolded Galaxy X might operate. As Patently Mobile reports, a user could touch an icon on the edge area of the phone so that the app will be open once the device is unfolded. Multiple user profiles would also be displayed on the edge, allowing multiple users to enter passwords to access information from the device’s edge.

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