Samsung Galaxy X: Foldable handset arriving THIS YEAR

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The latest news and rumours about Samsung's Galaxy X foldable smartphone – which might launch this year

The Samsung Galaxy X is a strange one. Its existence is still something of a mystery – we know it's definitely a thing (we've seen the concepts) and we know that it bends. The thing is, we don't know how it achieves this technical wizardry, or know any concrete details surrounding Samsung's fancy-pants smartphone for that matter.

 

We might know reasonably soon, however, with news that Samsung is preparing to launch its foldable handset this year. According to CNBC, in an interview with Samsung CEO DJ Koh, the Korean firm is planning on releasing a foldable phone at the Samsung Developer Conference in November. 

However, before you prepare for the foldable phone revolution, it's worth noting that Samsung is rumoured only to be manufacturing parts for a foldable device on a very small scale, meaning they won't be mass-produced. It is alleged that only a limited number of foldable smartphones will hit the market accordingly, likely only in Samsung's home country of Korea, so those looking to pocket the Samsung Galaxy X will have to be pretty eagle-eyed (and nimble-fingered) if they want to score one of the novel handsets. 

In the meantime, while we wait for the Samsung Galaxy X's arrival with baited breath, here's everything we know about Samsung's revolutionary foldable phone.

  • Samsung Galaxy X: Everything you need to know

  • Samsung Galaxy X slated for 2018 release

  • Limited 100,000 units at launch

  • Possibly a smartphone/tablet hybrid

Samsung has been teasing us with a foldable mobile for some time. In spite of this hype, the likelihood of Samsung planning a triple hit following the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 9 reveals earlier this year was always very low.

Now, however, it looks like we might see this special phone before the end of the year. With initial reports hinting at a 2019 release, Samsung CEO DJ Koh has suggested that the Galaxy X will be shown off for the first time sometime in November, although this grand unveiling is highly likely to be pushed back.

Samsung Galaxy X: A hybrid design?

  • 5in mobile screen and rumoured 7in tablet display

  • Device might be 4K 

  • Patented on screen hinge technology

Samsung likes to keep people guessing. A 2016 Bloomberg report suggested they’re not just working on a Samsung Galaxy X but another folding device. The first glimpse of this concept was actually shown back in 2014 through a teaser video that demonstrated a “Flexible OLED Display Phone and Tab Concept”. More recently, leaked patents have shown something resembling a slightly more typical Galaxy device but with folding functionality.

Screen size has been hotly debated, with leaked patent images via SamMobile suggest it’s altered through development. The hybrid model alone is suggested to have been cut from 8in to a 7in foldout screen. While the phone screen is rumoured to be in the 5in-5.5in ballpark. These claims give weight to reports Samsung have multiple devices in development. Samsung might even still be pondering what phone will make it into the public’s hands.

The tablet hybrid has seen popularity from audiences already, the latest fan concepts revealing how such a device could work can be seen in this video.

Samsung Galaxy X UK release date: When does it come out?

  • Reports suggest Q4 2018 reveal

  • Initially limited to 100,000 units

  • Late 2018 or early 2019 release

Given the unique stature of Samsung’s rumoured foldable, current speculation is that the company will only release a limited run of 100,000 devices. So, who’s going to nab one? According to SamMobile, the device will release in selected regions first to test interest prior to a wider push. Listing nine territories in total, the Samsung Galaxy X will reportedly hit the UK and US, as well as Poland and Samsung’s home of South Korea.

This could signal exclusivity with selected networks, akin to Apple’s O2 deal for the original iPhone. This is speculative at the moment, but Samsung did opt for this model two years ago with the Galaxy S7 Active, naming AT&T as sole US carrier. 100,000 units also isn't a lot for a brand that's used to owning roughly 40% of the smartphone market.

The latest news suggests the Galaxy X will launch in 2018. The new details come straight from the Korean firm itself, with Samsung's own Koh Dong-Jin speaking to CNBC. The president of mobile business discussed the Galaxy X, and its 2018 release date, saying: "it's time to deliver". It's likely Samsung will show off the Galaxy X for the first time during its own Developer Conference in San Francisco in November.

Samsung Galaxy X specs and features: What's inside?

Details on what will power the Galaxy X remains rather hush-hush, but sources "close to the matter" are divulging the odd bit of info via the Korea Herald.

One claim in the long list of reports suggests that the Galaxy X will be fitted with a 4K screen, although such a high-resolution display might be tricky for something utilising what is very new technology.

More plausible than 4K is that the Galaxy X could take advantage of a Samsung prototype shown way back in 2016. A video filmed by SlashGear reveals a 5.7in, 1080p OLED display on an automated arm control, with a pixel density of 386ppi. Perhaps this is how Samsung's foldable display technology will work?

In terms of design, one of the crucial elements in various patent images is the hinge that would allow Samsung’s device to function as a foldable. In July 2016, Patently Mobile released a series of images for both a mobile and tablet concept showing how foldable tech would work. One Galaxy X design demonstrated a central fold in the middle of the screen, allowing the device to fold into a compact mode. In November 2016, SamMobile released new patent images showing what is assumed to be the Samsung Galaxy X in much more detail. There's a more in-depth view of the centrefold technology although these images didn’t seem to indicate a tablet hybrid (at least in this model).

Lastly, a fresh rumour suggests that the Samsung Galaxy X will be equipped with a dual camera setup on the rear. While this feature is no longer uncommon – most flagship smartphones have two cameras – it's nice to see Samsung sticking to their guns. Perhaps the Galaxy X will feature a dual aperture setup, specifically catered toward low-light photography, like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 released earlier in the year. 

  • Samsung Galaxy X: Who else is making a foldable?

  • LG could also reveal a foldable device

  • Lenovo pegged as another frontrunner

That’s not to say other companies aren’t also eyeing up foldable phones as the next big thing. So far we know LG are keen to take on Samsung in the early days of foldable smartphones, following a leaked patent from TrendyTechz that suggests it will also produce a phone/tablet hybrid. Patent images show a 7in folding tablet that can alter to a 5in phone at will, much in the same vein as Samsung’s rumoured hybrid. LG might even reveal their efforts at the same time as Samsung.

Lenovo is also penned as a frontrunner in the foldable phone game. In 2017 the company showed off a folding device, albeit in very early stages, doubling up as a wearable and a phone. All bets still point to Samsung firing the starting gun with the Samsung Galaxy X, but reports are putting others hot on their heels.

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