Samsung Galaxy X Rumors: Foldable Phone Release Date, Specs and More
After years of hearing about Samsung's foldable phone plans, we've finally seen Samsung's long-rumored device in action.
Credit: Tom's GuideThe phone — known as the Galaxy X, Galaxy F and other names, depending on who's doing the rumor-mongering — seems like it's been just around the corner for years. In that time, countless reports have speculated on whether Samsung’s device would fold in or out, be the size of a smartphone or a tablet (or both), and ultimately attract an audience in a decidedly flat and rigid smartphone market.
But the time for foldable phones may have finally arrived. Samsung has officially unveiled its Infinity Flex display, which will arrive on its still-unannounced foldable phone sometime in the near future. It's time to look at what we know so far about the Galaxy X.
Latest News (Updated Nov. 13)
- A new Galaxy F release date and price report says the flagship will cost as much as $1,770 and be released in March 2019.
- Samsung's foldable display is finally official. The company has unveiled Infinity Flex: a foldable, 7.3-inch 2152 x 1536 AMOLED display that will be featured on Samsung's still-unnamed foldable phone.
- Samsung has also revealed its slick, streamlined OneUI interface, which provides a fresh Android experience and will support foldable screens.
Release Date and Cost
Samsung officially unveiled the Infinity Flex display at its 2018 developer conference on Nov. 8, and now there are reports about the release date and price.
The company has said 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 2019.
Credit: Concept CreatorKorean news outlet Yonhap News is reporting that that the phone will cost as much as 2 million won — $1,770. The phone will reportedly launch in March 2019.
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.
Name: Galaxy F or Galaxy X?
Most reports about Samsung's foldable phone plans have zeroed in on the device being called the Galaxy X. But one Twitter user says those reports have it wrong.
That would be @MMDDJ_, who posts a lot on phone leaks and seems to suggest that the Galaxy X will instead be a gaming-focused phone. As for the folding phone, that will apparently be called the Galaxy F.
Another report suggests a third possible name: the Galaxy Infinity V. Dutch blog LetsGoDigital found a trademark filing with the Korean Intellectual Propery Office that lists that name for a patent covering smartphones and phone displays. Samsung refers to the screens on its Galaxy S and Note lineups as Infinity Displays, so it's possible that filing just covers a new version of one of Samsung's mobile phone panels.
The Galaxy X’s design has been a bit of a moving target over the last few years, 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: Concept CreatorSpeaking 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 X could slip into a pocket more easily.
A report in The Bell out of South Korea raised the possibility of another display visible when the Galaxy X is folded up that would let you see at-a-glance data.
Concept Creator on YouTube attempted to bring Samsung's Infinity Flex concept to life. The video shows a device that's almost all screen up front with very narrow bezels. Around back, there's a sturdy and somewhat bulky hinge, but it's not clear how it works from the video.
Samsung announced a flexible OLED panel in the summer of 2018 that it bills as indestructible. (And it's got the video to prove it.)Credit: Samsung It's unclear if this is the technology the phone maker would use in a folding smartphone, but it certainly seems to have the durability and bendability such a device would demand.
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 F or Galaxy X phone will have a similar size panel.Credit: SamsungAccording to an earlier report ETNews, the Galaxy X will feature a 7.3-inch OLED screen when unfolded. The screen will unfold on a vertical axis, like you would open a book, and you'll only need to unfold the screen for certain tasks. The rest of the time, you'll use a 4.6-inch flexible OLED.
Speculation abounds that Samsung will make the Galaxy X a high-end device that could ultimately run on a powerful processor like the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, but Samsung hasn’t confirmed that. The Galaxy S9 was the first to get that chipset.
Bloomberg has a report on the phone, which includes some specs. The phone described by Bloomberg sounds lot like the one detailed by other outlets and Samsung's own prototype videos, with the screen folding out like a book. A prototype of the phone weighed 200 grams — for context, the beefy iPhone XS Max tips the scales at 177 grams — and Bloomberg also says that Samsung is working with Google on a version of Android designed to work with the foldable phone.
Beyond that, we haven’t heard about camera quality yet, nor has anyone 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 X or if it would debut with next year's S10 instead.
Foldable Phone Competition
The Galaxy X or Galaxy F won't be the only foldable phone in 2019. A Chinese firm called Royole (or Rouyo Technology, depending on the report) is showing off a handset called the FlexPai. It features a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen and costs between $1,290 to $1,863, depending on the configuration of the phone.
Some consolation for Samsung: the FlexPai may have debuted first, but a video showcasing how the phone works really wouldn't impress anyone. It looks pretty bulky to our eye, and FlexPai went with a design that's not really all that compact. Certainly, Samsung has plenty of opportunity to make the case that its phone will be more useful.
Of course, so will other phone makers. Huawei has already said it plans to come out with a foldable smartphone. And rumors have started swirling that LG could unveil a foldable device of its own as soon as CES 2019.