Most incoming flexible display phones for 2019 aim to provide a tablet that can fit into your pocket while folded. But Samsung may have something else in mind: a phone that is a foldable, a clamshell, and a slider all at the same time, collapsing vertically to half its size.
According to Dutch tech site and patent archeologist Lets Go Digital, a patent awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on November 27, 2018, shows that Samsung may be working on a vertically foldable clamshell Galaxy phone that could more easily fit in your pocket when closed, expanding to its 6-point-something inches size when opened
But this patent seems to have more — and very weird — details not present in a previous filing awarded in early November. The design — which presents a more compact phone diagram — has a sliding surface made of flexible material covering its metal body.
This cover — which may be artificial leather or something else — can be pushed down with your thum to reveal a mini display on the top, right next to the back camera. Presumably, this display will be used for notifications of some sort.
Whatever purpose this sliding cover serves, what is clear is that this flip-foldable addresses some users’ criticism against the current idea of foldable phones, which seem to be aiming to be tablets that can be folded to fit into your pocket — collapsing horizontally rather than vertically.
Instead of trying to be tablets, these flip phones with flexible displays may aim to resuscitate the convenience of the traditional clamshell phone. This is something that Motorola is reportedly working on with a potentially new Razr design.
According to Samsung rumormeister Ice Universe, the Korean company has been debating for a while how to fold its flexible products: horizontally to show a large phablet or vertically to collapse the current Galaxy form factor.
We know that the first option won the first round but, with Samsung committed to release at least foldable phone each year, it is not crazy to see this other clamshell model coming to the market.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
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.