It’s a matter of months before the foldable phones become the next big thing in the market, and it’s pretty certain that Samsung will be the company to begin that trend. The first foldable phone from Samsung might even come as early as this year. We may even know what it’s called, with the mysterious Samsung Galaxy X being the subject of several leaks, patents, and rumors.
But whether X marks the spot or not, we’re clearly entering a foldable future. To see how we got here and what the future brings, let’s see how Samsung developed their phone so far.
The idea of a foldable phone isn’t exactly new to Samsung, in fact, it’s some seven years in the making. Way back in 2011 the company showed off a prototype of the first foldable device.
Though it looked chunky and awkward, even back then it somewhat worked, remaining intact after 100,000 folds. Furthermore, there was only a 6% drop in brightness at the center, where all the folding action happened.
This clearly wasn’t a commercial product, but later that year Samsung launched a concept video of a fully bendable (and transparent) mobile device, that could fold out from a phone-sized screen to a tablet-sized one, showing what Samsung’s ambitions are for the technology.
By 2012 Samsung was already hard at work trying to launch the first generation of flexible or foldable phones. But there was a report late in the year which claimed that problems with the production of flexible screens would hold the first bendy display back until at least 2013.
The closest thing we actually got to a foldable phone from Samsung in 2013 was the Samsung Galaxy Round. This wasn’t the device we saw in the prototypes and concepts, but it was the first curved screen device, which was a formidable step forward.
That was followed up by the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which curved in a now more familiar direction, one which Samsung has since fully embraced with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and other phones with curved edges.
Talk of foldable phones went a bit quiet until mid-2015 when it was rumored that an upcoming phone codenamed Project Valley could be foldable.
At this point little was known about the device, which would apparently have two screens, but it was said to be in early development, so was unlikely to arrive for a while, if ever.
In September 2015 an “insider” claimed that we’d see a bendable phone in January 2016. It wasn’t clear whether this was Project Valley or not, but apparently, it would come in both mid-range and high-end flavors. Of course, nothing came out of it.
In May 2016 Project Valley got a new name – the Samsung Galaxy X, which was believed to be the name it would be released under.
According to reports at the time, it would be ready for release in 2017 and would have a foldable 4K display so that the resolution would remain high even when the phone was folded. That reports left most of the people sceptical, and rightfully so, because we’re in the second half of 2018 and we haven’t gotten even the official announcement.
The latest news made the Samsung foldable phone story even more convoluted. According to a reliable Chinese tipster (@MMDDJ_), the Galaxy X will actually be Samsung’s first “gaming phone” – and it will not fold. Not even a little bit. The foldable phone is still happening, according to the information, but it won’t be called the Galaxy X. The foldable phone will now apparently be called the Samsung Galaxy F – and it’s going to cost a truckload of money.
What is Galaxy X then? At this stage of the game, it’s anybody’s guess. However, we’re getting more and more leaked pieces of information, so probably the official presentation that will offer us more details isn’t too far away. With all the connection Samsung has with the game developer’s community, it wouldn’t be surprising if Galaxy X unites gaming, foldable and flagship qualities into one ultimate device.