Korean Samsung has in the meantime captured a large number of designs for foldable smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Fold has now been released and in a few months, the brand will again release a new folding phone. The Galaxy Fold 2 gets a totally different design, this is a clamshell model with an elongated display, similar to the recently introduced Motorola RAZR. In addition to a new foldable smartphone, Samsung also seems to be working on a Galaxy tab fold foldable tablet in the background.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Fold in pocket format
Samsung Electronics filed a design patent with The Hague International Design System on 9 May 2019. The patent called ‘Mobile telephone‘ was approved on November 15, 2019, and comprises, in addition to a brief description, about 35 images. These images show that there are three models that are at least different from each other. The fold line is not in the middle of all models.
To begin with the first model, on which by far the most images are based. This foldable smartphone tablet has the folding line exactly in the middle.
The design differs from the current Fold, but also from the developing clamshell Fold. This new device can perhaps best be described as a broad folding phone. You can fold the device horizontally. Folded open creates a fairly wide and long flexible screen.
A similar foldable Samsung phone was patented in August. This time, however, there is no front display available, it is possible that Samsung has chosen this to keep the cost down so that the product can be put on the market cheaper. Because the front screen is missing, this design looks more like a tablet than a phone.
That is why we have named this Samsung device ‘Galaxy Tab Fold‘. Nevertheless, this device will undoubtedly be provided with all functions that also have a smartphone. It’s not for nothing that Samsung has called the patent “Mobile phone”.
In any case, it is striking that the front screen is missing. Equally striking is the absence of cameras. No camera is visible on this design. Since it is a design patent and Samsung has included functions such as the speaker and USB connector in the images, you can assume that the camera function is not simply forgotten.
It is therefore likely that Samsung wants to provide this folding phone with an under-screen camera. There is a good chance that the first mobile phones with an under-screen camera will be introduced in 2020. Whether this technology can be applied immediately in a foldable model remains to be seen, it is obvious that this will be even more difficult to achieve.
Once unfolded, a large flexible screen unfolds. No notch is visible. The screen edges are proportional to all four sides, which contributes to a streamlined design. The hinge of this Samsung Galaxy Tab Fold foldable tablet has an identical design to the current Galaxy Fold. Yet this device seems to fold significantly further. Based on the enclosed images, the device folds completely shut – without a visible seam where dust and dirt can get in.
In addition, several images show that you can also put down the device, after which you can use the lower screen part as a keyboard, for example. The content is then displayed on the upper part of the screen. So you actually have a small laptop at your disposal that fits in your pocket.
Finally, two speakers are shown on both the top and bottom (4 in total). That is twice as much as is the case with the current Galaxy Fold, where one speaker is mounted on the top and bottom, which together function as stereo speakers.
The second patented model has broadly the same design. This time, however, the folding line is not completely in the middle. This way you get a totally different device at your disposal when you put the device down. The lower part of the screen is then considerably smaller, but just big enough to display a keyboard. So you have a larger screen area for displaying the content, think of an internet page or a Microsoft Office application.
With the third model, the folding line has shifted even further, making the device considerably less compact when folded. The folding line seems to serve exclusively as a position to be able to put down the tablet. You then have a fairly wide screen at your disposal, comparable to a laptop. Personally, I see less future in this model, in particular, because portability is at stake.
The first design, in particular, seems to be a good addition to the Galaxy Fold 2 that is currently being developed. Finally, not everyone will prefer a folding phone design, with a narrow elongated screen at your disposal. Should Samsung decide to also release a galaxy foldable tablet in addition, consumers will, in any case, retain the choice to also opt for larger screen size.
Finally, the Fold is particularly praised for its tablet functionality. Several publishers have published a Galaxy Fold review, the general conclusion being; the Fold is a good tablet, but a less good phone. A folding tablet can also appeal to the business market. A target group that should certainly not be forgotten. Finally, it is easier for companies to spend an amount of € 2,000 on suit than a private person.
Moreover, it is expected that several manufacturers will introduce a folding tablet or laptop next year. Lenovo has already announced the ThinkPad X1 foldable laptop, which will appear on the market next year. In addition, it became clear last month that Microsoft is also working on a folding dual-screen device, called the Microsoft Surface Duo. This Microsoft foldable tablet is expected at the end of 2020.
Another new player that will introduce a smartphone tablet next year is the Chinese TCL. The company has already demonstrated a prototype device with two folding lines, making the phone expand into a large 10-inch tablet. Samsung has already recorded a similar Z-Fold design halfway through this year.
All in all, it is expected that significantly more products will be introduced next year with a flexible, bendable screen. These types of displays will become the new standard in the future. It is therefore especially important for leading manufacturers to profile themselves as an innovative company at an early stage, in order to gain a solid market position within the flexible equipment market. It will certainly take another year or 3, but then the general public will also want to buy a foldable smartphone or tablet and then it will also be extra interesting for manufacturers.