Samsung Galaxy Fold Rumors: Foldable Phone Release Date, Price and Specs
After years of hearing about Samsung's foldable phone plans, we've finally seen Samsung's long-rumored device in action. But the full reveal will likely occur tomorrow Feb. 20 in San Francisco at Samsung's Unpacked event.
Credit: Tom's GuideThe phone — known now as the Galaxy Fold — is expected to morph from smartphone to tablet, and ultimately attract an audience in a decidedly flat and rigid smartphone market. Samsung officially unveiled its Infinity Flex display in late 2018, and that foldable screen is set to appear on the Galaxy Fold.
Latest News (Updated Feb. 19)
- Reliable leaker Evan Blass says Samsung's foldable phone will be aptly named the Galaxy Fold.
- It now looks pretty certain that the Galaxy Fold will at least make an appearance at Samsung's Feb. 20 Unpacked event, with the phone maker releasing a teaser video trumpeting a folding phone.
Galaxy Fold release date
Samsung officially unveiled the Infinity Flex display at its 2018 developer conference in November, and now there are reports about the release date and price.
The company said at the time it plans to start mass production of the Infinity Flex display in the next few months, meaning we're likely looking at a release date during the first half of this year.
Credit: Concept CreatorThat could be sooner rather than later. Samsung will hold a Feb. 20 Unpacked event in San Francisco, and while the Galaxy S10 figures to be the headliner, it's also clear that the company's folding phone will make an appearance, too. Billboards promising that "The future unfolds" at that event tipped Samsung watchers like SamMobile that the Galaxy Fold would get some stage time, and now Samsung has all but confirmed the move with a teaser video.
That doesn't necessarily mean the release of the Galaxy Fold is as imminent as the Galaxy S10's rollout. Instead, Samsung could just provide more details about its folding phone, along with a more substantive demo than the one we saw at last year's developer conference.
Italian blog Tutto Android says the foldable Samsung phone will be available in late March or early April.
Galaxy Fold price
As for the cost of the phone, Korean analyst report pegs the price of the Galaxy Fold at $1,800 without carrier subsidies. That's in line with Tutto Android's report, which places the cost at €2,000.
Earlier, the head of research at Golden Bridge Investment told the Korea Times that the phone could run 2 million won, which translates to $1,841 in U.S. dollars. Even if Samsung were to adjust pricing based on region, you'd still expect to pay a lot for a foldable phone, since the Galaxy Note 8, which doesn't fold, debuted at $929.
The design of the Galaxy Fold has been a bit of a moving target over the last several months, as reports have offered conflicting details on exactly how it might look and operate. Now that we've seen the Infinity Flex concept, details are coming into focus.
Credit: LetsGoDigitalLetsGoDigital published a render that imagines what the foldable Galaxy phone will look like when it finally does launch. The concept ditches the boxy case Samsung appeared to have put the device in at its developer conference to conceal major aspects of the design. We can see that when folded, the outer display only consumes a small portion of the backside — consistent with what Samsung demoed on stage.
Speaking to CNET at a Samsung phone launch in October, DJ Koh said to expect a device that's essentially a tablet when fully unfolded; when you're done with functions that require a big screen, you would fold the device in two making it smartphone-sized, so that the Galaxy Fold could slip into a pocket more easily.
The Galaxy Fold's malleable Infinity Flex display is central to its design, and not so coincidentally, Samsung revealed an "indestructible" flexible OLED panel over the summer in a video. It's unclear if this is the same technology the phone maker is planning to use in its folding smartphone, but it certainly seems to have the durability such a device would demand. In a blog post explaining the need for a foldable phone, Samsung's Hark Sang-kim promises a device you'll be able to open and close "hundreds of thousands" of times.
Another video spotted by GizmoChina before Samsung removed it also gives us a glimpse of what the Galaxy Fold might look like. In the video, which touts other Samsung concepts, a woman opens up a foldable phone that's missing the boxy casing that appeared when Samsung unveiled the Infinity Flex display last fall.
Samsung's Infinity Flex display concept features a 4.58-inch display when closed and a huge 7.3-inch screen when opened, so it's reasonable to expect that Samsung's Galaxy Fold will have a similar size panel.Credit: Samsung
Galaxy Fold specs
A December report from Korean research firm CCS-CIMB Research indicates that Samsung's foldable phone will run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 in the U.S. and Exynos 9820 in Korea.
The December report from CCS-CIMB Research outlines the camera specs, but there are no surprises. The device will reportedly feature two 12-MP rear-facing lenses and an 8-MP selfie camera. No one has confirmed whether this foldable phone would incorporate the fingerprint-, iris- and face-scanning features found on current Samsung flagships.
Samsung is reportedly working on an embedded fingerprint sensor for upcoming phones, though it's unclear if such a feature would find its way into the Galaxy Fold or if it would debut as part of the Galaxy S10 instead.
According to a report from SamMobile, Samsung is planning to bundle 512GB of storage in the foldable phone. That's become the new standard in the higher end of the mobile market and should give you plenty of room for a variety of content.
You'd expect a big battery to keep a phone with a 7.3-inch screen powered up, and rumors about the Galaxy Fold's battery suggest that Samsung will solve the problem by doubling up on power packs. Dutch blog GalaxyClub claims the Galaxy F will use two batteries, totaling up to 6,200 mAh of power.
A more recent SamMobile report claims the Galaxy Fold will ship in four colors —black, blue, green and silver. The phone could also have 5G connectivity, the report says, though that feature may be limited to Samsung's home market of South Korea initially.
Foldable Phone Competition
The Galaxy Fold won't be the only foldable phone this. Royole Technology has already taken the wraps off a handset called the FlexPai, which is was showing off during CES this month. Already available for preorder, the FlexPai features a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen and costs $1,318 to $1,469 depending on which configuration you buy.
We had a chance to go hands-on with the FlexPai at CES and found it to be an interesting experience with a phone that's surprising easy to fold. Still, the FlexPai feels unfinished, so Samsung has an opportunity to lead ahead with the Galaxy F, even if Royole has beaten it to the market with a foldable device.
Of course, other phone makers have that same opportunity. Huawei has already said it plans to come out with a foldable smartphone, and a tweet from the company has all but confirmed that its foldable phone will debut this month at Mobile World Congress. LG says it's working on rollable phones, and some rumors suggest that the upcoming LG G8 could even fold when it debuts at MWC. (Another rumor suggests LG could let you add a second screen to that phone, so LG's plans sound like they're in flux.) Motorola is rumored to be bringing back the Razr smartphone as a foldable device. In other words, the Galaxy Fold can expect plenty of competition once it hits the market.