Next month, the Samsung Galaxy Fold will go on sale. Although the release was postponed, the Korean manufacturer is currently fully engaged in the development of new folding phone designs. Last week, a report on a special Samsung foldable smartphone with a Z-Fold design was circulating on the web. This time the company has patented a completely different type of folding phone. The 3D render below gives an immediate idea of the differences between the two models.
On January 31, 2019, Samsung display filed a patent with the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) for a 'Foldable device and method for controlling the same'. The patent was published on 8 August 2019, also in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) database, guaranteeing worldwide protection for this design.
Samsung foldable phone designs
To get a better idea of Samsung's patented folding phone, LetsGoDigital has designed a set of product renders. However, it is not a design patent, but a utility patent, which means that design aspects can still change. Various operating options are also discussed in the utility patent.
It is a foldable smartphone with an elongated screen and a bi-directional slide mechanism. Just like the Motorola Razr foldable smartphone - which is also expected soon, as you were able to read exclusively on LetsGoDigital yesterday - the Samsung device has a screen that is on the inside when you fold the phone. Thanks to the flexible hinge, however, it is also possible to fold the screen completely the other way, with the display on the outside.
An elongated screen is ideal for reading a book or viewing long web pages, among other things. You can then view a lot of extra content. It is also possible to display two applications above each other, for example, you can view your email, while you also play a video or consult an internet page.
An extra-wide hinge has been applied, allowing you to bend the phone at several points. This way you can fold the device flat. The front and back are then exactly the same length.
You can also slide the back a little down, creating a slightly larger display surface on the front. This is useful, for example, when viewing photos.
Thanks to the bi-directional slide mechanism. With it, you can also slide the rear upwards. This has a second, larger speaker unit incorporated so that you can fully enjoy your favorite music. The first speaker is processed in the top bezel, this serves as a receiver.
Then there is another possibility… By turning the smartphone vertically (top becomes bottom) and sliding the back up, the camera system comes forward. For example, the main camera can be used as a front camera, allowing you to take high-resolution selfies.
Folding phone has much in stock
This Samsung foldable phone is equipped with a slide-motion detection system so that the interface can be adjusted based on how the device is folded. In addition, it should be possible to operate this folding phone with a stylus pen, as the patent description states.
If you carry the device with you, you can fold the smartphone so that the screen is on the inside. This keeps the flexible display optimally protected against scratches and bumps. With the recently patented foldable phone from Xiaomi, you also have this option.
The camera system is placed on the back of Samsung's folding phone. Although only one camera is shown on the patent sketches, it is stated in the description that it can also involve several cameras. This is an 'array camera system', or the camera lenses are placed next to each other.
Samsung nowadays equips its top models with at least three cameras. The Galaxy Fold has a total of six cameras. It, therefore, seems likely that if Samsung actually introduces this model, the device will be equipped with more than one camera. For the product renders we have therefore assumed a quad camera, similar to the Galaxy S10 5G and the Galaxy Note 10.
In addition, there is talk about the possible integration of a selfie camera on the front of the device. Since the main camera can also serve as a selfie camera, we did not assume this with the 3D renders.
Two buttons are shown on the left. Although no USB Type-C and/or 3.5mm connection is visible on the enclosed drawings, it is described in the patent description that these may be integrated. With the Note 10, however, the headphone jack has already been omitted, so we do not expect it to be found on this model.
As time goes by, the patents for folding phones become increasingly sophisticated. Previously we only encountered patents for devices where the display was either on the inside or on the outside, nowadays flexible hinges are used that make it possible to fold the folding telephone in both directions. Which of course is a big advantage.
The expectation is that Samsung is working on various folding phone models. Earlier this year, there was the talk of a folding phone and a Mate X-like design. How this will translate into model names in the future is as yet unknown. Currently, all Samsung smartphones are housed within the Galaxy Note series, S series, A series, and the M series. Some expect the Galaxy Fold to be the start of the F series, but Samsung itself has not made any statements about this yet.
It is possible that Samsung will once again present a folding phone on MWC 2020. First, the Fold will go on sale, the re-launch is planned for next month, although an exact date has still not been given. Remarkably enough, however, no attention was paid to the foldable smartphone during the Galaxy Note 10 event.
Last week, Techradar announced that Huawei will also postpone the release of its folding phone again. The Huawei Mate X would initially be released in June, after which September was called. Again, this date does not seem to be met. In an official statement, the Chinese manufacturer announced that the folding phone will be released between September and November 2019.