after months of speculation samsung finally debuted its foldable smartphone on wednesday during fifth annual developers conference. justin denison, samsung senior vice president of mobile marketing, showed off the device, which is a tablet when fully open and a phone when it’s closed. 

samsung unveils foldable smartphone with 'infinity flex display'

images courtesy of samsung/youtube

 

 

the smartphone uses a new display technology called infinity flex display that lets you open and close the device over and over again without degradation. when unfolded the device resembles a 7.3in (18.5cm) tablet and has a 4.2:3 ratio. samsung says the resolution is 1536×2152, with a screen density of 420 dpi. when closed, a separate smaller 4.58in ‘cover display’ has the appearance of a regular, if not quite retro-looking phone, with 21:9 aspect ratio. this one has a resolution of 840×1960, with a screen density of 420 dpi.

samsung unveils foldable smartphone with 'infinity flex display'

 

 

rather than give away full design specs, samsung focused mainly on the display and the device’s multi-tasking capability. the actual look and feel of the phone were kept cleverly concealed behind a chunky casing whilst some deliberate backlighting helped to maintain some mystery. denison revealed that the forthcoming handset would be able to run three apps at once. 

samsung unveils foldable smartphone with 'infinity flex display'
samsung unveils foldable smartphone with 'infinity flex display'

 

 

samsung has had to develop new materials to make this new technology possible. the infinity flex display uses a polymer that samsung says is ‘flexible and tough,’ allowing it to be folded and unfolded ‘hundreds of thousands of times.’ samsung has combined this with a new adhesive that laminates the various display layers together to allow them to flex.

 

few are debating ‘if’ foldable or rollable mobile displays are the future of smartphones, the only question is when and by whom,’ explains patrick moorhead, an industry analyst at moor insights and former AMD executive.the core benefit of a foldable smartphone is that the user can have the benefit of a larger display but can still fit it into their pocket, coat, or purse.

 

the effect this could have on the material future of smartphones might see capacitive touch on glass become less popular. or it could reiterate why this choice has dominated the market since apple demonstrated its value with the introduction of the iphone. obviously the technology still has some maturing to do. that hasn’t stopped the galaxy maker promising rollable and stretchable OLED displays in the future. samsung’s device is just the beginning in a possible future of foldable phones, rollable TV’s and flexible tablets.

 

 

consumers have been waiting for samsung to reveal a foldable phone since it teased one at CES 2013 by showing off a flexible OLED display. since then the concept of a folding phone has met criticism from those seeing it as ‘gimmicky’ although that hasn’t stopped other companies from jumping on the bandwagon. there are several companies rumoured to be working on their own foldable handsets including LG, huawei, and apple. earlier this week american tech company royole beat samsung to the punch by revealing its own folding phone. whats more google were actually on hand at samsung’s unveiling to announce support for folding displays which confirms reason to believe multiple manufacturers are working on a similar concept.

 

‘this isn’t just a concept,’ says denison, SVP of mobile product marketing at samsung.the breakthroughs we’ve made in display materials have been matched by breakthroughs in manufacturing. as a result, we’ll be ready to start mass production in the coming months.

 

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news