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Samsung and Google Teaming Up on Foldable Phone

Samsung’s foldable phone is poised to change the mobile landscape in the same way the iPhone changed the industry more than a decade ago. And Google is helping to make it happen.

Credit: Samsung

(Image credit: Samsung)

A new Bloomberg report confirms specific specs about the foldable Galaxy F (or X, depending on whom you ask). Codenamed “Winner”, the phone is getting near the final stage of its development phase before getting into production.

The phone will look very similar to the one showed in a concept video back in 2014. Outside, a four-inch screen will allow people to access the phones’ functions without having to open it.

Whenever you need to do something a little more involved — like watching a movie, playing a game, or working in a document — you will be able to flip it open. As recently detailed in a recent patent filing, the report confirms that the phone will open to its full size with a snap, like the popular Motorola Razr (a phone that may come back in a similar phone, according to recent patents).

MORE: Samsung Galaxy X Rumors: Foldable Phone Release Date, Specs ...

However, it is not clear yet what’s going to be the orientation of the phone when opened. The report claims that there are two final prototypes, one that opens vertically and the other horizontally. Apparently, engineers are favoring the vertical flavor, so it looks like a regular phablet when opened. A recent report by the Wall Street Journal says that the foldable Samsung will be 7 inches when open.

The current prototypes weigh 200 grams, which is heavier than the iPhone XS Max’s 177 grams but lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s 201 grams. Bloomberg says that Samsung may have to reduce the weight by reducing the battery. Clearly, this thing will need a powerful battery to work.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, the hinge has been tested through 200,000 cycles but it’s not clear yet what will happen when the company enters the production phase. Apparently the AMOLED display, which is covered by a transparent film and not glass, “shatters like dried paper” when it goes past its folding threshold.

But the most interesting new part of the report is that Google is working with Samsung on a special version of the Android operating system to accommodate the special features of the foldable phone. This may be indicative that Google considers this phone a strategic asset against the iPhone juggernaut. It won’t be crazy to imagine a foldable phone coming from Google itself in one year or two.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.

  • gabriel.voican
    typo in price:

    That would be the iPhone 7, currently available at $49 for the 4.7-inch model.