The Royole FlexPai might have beaten Samsung to the world’s first folding tablet, but the Korean manufacturer today proved that its own device with a bendable screen is also something to look forward to. And after today’s announcement, it seems a safe bet that Samsung will get it right.
At the 2018 Samsung Developer Conference, the biggest smartphone vendor in the world showed off a hybrid device touting its new Infinity Flex Display. The screen measures 7.3 inches and can fold 180 degrees, transforming the device from a phone into a tablet, albeit a chunky one.
There’s also a secondary touchscreen on the outside, allowing you to use the device as a handset for most use cases without unfolding it. Samsung reckons it will be pocketable and comfortable to use, like a regular smartphone. We’ll save our judgement until we get our hands on a unit without a protective case covering the back and sides.
To create the bendy screen, Samsung used new components, including a flexible OLED layer and a malleable adhesive to hold the assembly together. The screen is said to be flexible and durable enough to withstand being folded hundreds of thousands of times. It’s also the thinnest display Samsung has ever built.
For seamlessly transitioning from a phone-sized screen into a 7.3-inch one, Samsung worked with Google to redesign its user interface for easier operation.
Internally, we don’t know what to expect from Samsung’s phone-tablet hybrid, though it’ll likely come in sporting cutting-edge specs to match its cutting-edge design.
The company didn’t reveal a launch date either, although mass-market production of its Infinity Flex Display is expected to ramp up in the next couple of months. That said, you should be able to find its first folding device in stores sometime in 2019.
It’s worth noting that Samsung isn’t the only big name working on folding devices. Reports say Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, and Xiaomi also plan to unveil their own foldable designs in the near future.
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