Samsung Galaxy X: Possible name leaked for foldable phone

A patent filing in Turkey suggests Samsung hasn't been very imaginative with the Galaxy X's name

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The Samsung Galaxy X, Samsungs upcoming foldable phone, may be called the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It's nothing if not literal.

This revelation comes from Dutch tech blog LetsGoDigital which uncovered patent filings in Turkey that suggest Samsung has chosen this name for its new device. This name would be instead of the Galaxy X or Galaxy F, as various outlets have dubbed the upcoming foldable.

The device, shown off during Samsung's developer conference in California, has been the subject of much speculation for the past four or so years but it's now expected to launch in 2019. While we didn't get a clear look at the phone's design during its unveiling we did get to see its major gimmick in action, the folding screen.

Unfurled, the Galaxy X has a 7.3in tablet-like display that, when folded, is protected by the Galaxy X's own design and a second 4.6in display is then used on the outside to turn it into a phone. Even if it's a slightly chunky one...

It's been said that up to three apps can run simultaneously thanks to, something Samsung calls, multi active window. Production on the device will begin in a "matter of months" and each one uses an "Infinity Flex Display". However, we still don't know when we'll actually see the device come to market but, as it was announced in the US, it's likely we'll see it have a worldwide release instead of being locked to the South Korean market.

Samsung isn't ham-fisting its own version of Android into the Galaxy X either. Google is said to be supporting the form factor with Android natively, meaning Samsung doesn't need to do much more legwork to modifying its own Android reskin. Google is also providing guidance for developers to start using Android's existing features to better work on foldable devices and displays.

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Samsung may have pushed the announcement of its foldable phone forward significantly as previous reports suggest production on the device has only just started. It's likely it was spurred to do so after Royole (no, not a clue either) unveiled its foldable FlexPai device - beating Samsung to the punch after five years of rumours.

You can watch the whole press conference, and the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy X, in the YouTube stream below.

Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy X

Samsung Galaxy X release date: When's it coming out?

Samsung has begun production of the Galaxy X, bang in line with expectations for it to do so in 2018. Given the development challenges of a foldable phone, and the integration of its Infinity Flex Display, it's likely that Samsung won't ramp up development numbers in quite the same way it does with its flagship phones.

Because of this, it's unlikely we'll see a 2018 release date for the Samsung Galaxy X. It's far more likely that Samsung will announce an official release date for the Galaxy X at Mobile World Congress in February 2019, giving the Galaxy X a mid-2019 release date.

Samsung Galaxy X price: How much will it cost?

Nobody expected the Samsung Galaxy X to be an affordable smartphone, but with rumours circulating from the Korea Times around its price, it's likely to be even more than anyone expected. Thanks to reports from analyst sources, the Galaxy X is slated to be £1,365 SIM-free. Prices, undoubtedly, rocket up as you start looking to factor in extras like increased storage and, potentially, more memory.

The Galaxy X is also slated to run on Samsung's lates 7nm chip, and used two AMOLED displays, so it was never going to be an affordable smartphone. With the Galaxy Note 9 already pushing close to £1,000 (it's £899), it's no surprise the Galaxy X is beyond that. However, it is a tad surprising to see it nearly brush the £1,400 mark. 

Samsung's foldable Galaxy X smartphone (or as some people are calling it, the Galaxy F or Galaxy Flex) could be exclusive to EE in the UK. According to Gizmodo, EE is in talks with Samsung to become the sole distributor of the Samsung Galaxy Flex in the UK, aside from dedicated Samsung stores.

That may not sound like the biggest of deals, but going from what we know regarding price, you may well want to pay monthly for Samsung's foldable device. The same person who approached Gizmodo with news around EE's partnership also revealed that the highest-spec Galaxy X would cost around the £2,000 mark.

Samsung Galaxy X design: What does a foldable phone look like?

Back in July 2016, Patently Mobile released several sets of images illustrating Samsung’s foldable phone and tablet concepts. While they’ve restricted fellow tech sites from borrowing more than one image set at a time (see below), a full range of images can be found here.

More recently, in November 2017, SamMobile released images it suggested could be “our closest look” at the Galaxy X via Dutch site GalaxyClub. The images show a hinged device, not unlike that of Microsoft’s Surface Book, suggesting that it might sport a similar small cavity when folded over. Nonetheless, it’s an unprecedented piece of smartphone technology.

However, when the device was finally unveiled, it was tricky to tell just what it actually looked like. Thanks to dimming the lights to hide the prototype's form, and really show off the folding-screen technology, it was only clear to see the previously-rumoured 7.29in OLED tablet screen and the 4.6in external OLED display when closed.

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By folding the larger display away, instead of turning it into the outer screen when closed, means this bigger display can be kept protected when not in use.

Unfortunately, this design seems to make makes the Galaxy X quite thick, something many smartphone aficionados may not like. However, this is an experimental product from Samsung, so you can expect the design to slim down in the coming years, just as it did with the Note Edge and the rest of the Edge line of Samsung phones.

Despite this thickness, it's rumoured the hinge on the Galaxy X will actually allow for a near-perfect fold with the two sides of the display almost touching. It does leave a deliberate gap between the two sides of the screen to prevent damage if dropped or pushed against in pockets. It can also, apparently, hold the device in different orientations so you can use it as a stand.

Samsung Galaxy X: Features

Whilst the Galaxy X wasn’t launched per se at MWC 2018, word on the street was that selected press and partners were permitted a sneaky peak of the device. All very hush-hush, of course.

Nonetheless, rumours began circulating shortly thereafter, with a Super AMOLED display with flexible capabilities expected to be the Galaxy X’s defining feature.

All this makes us reminiscent of the days of 2010 when critics snubbed Samsung’s original Galaxy Note, deeming its 5.3in screen too big. Fast-forward a few years and you’ll see that big, beautiful screens are a spec du jour. A 5.3in screen might even seem paltry to some, with the ill-fated Note 7 sporting a monstrous 5.7in display. The extendable/contractible feature on the Galaxy X might just broaden Samsung’s audience appeal: from the clammy grasper favouring an easy-to-hold phone, to the wide-eyed tablet enthusiast, it’s got dimensions for everyone, and they’re adaptable to boot.

According to recent reports, the inclusion of a second screen on the device does mean that battery life on the device won't be quite as phenomenal as people have come to expect of Samsung flagships. Something that's worth noting if you're considering Samsung's fancy flexible device.

We will update this page as and when we get more information on the Samsung Galaxy X.

Images: Jamie McCall used under Creative Commons, Patently MobileSamMobile via GalaxyClub and The Verge

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