Samsung Galaxy X: the brand’s first foldable phone

The Samsung Galaxy X launch could be today

Image Credit: TechRadar

Update: The Samsung Galaxy X is set to be announced later today (February 20) and ahead of that we’ve seen leaked images, giving us a close look at the possible design.

The heavily-rumored Samsung Galaxy X launch date is today, February 20, at the firm’s Galaxy S10 event in San Francisco.

We may have already had a look at the Samsung Galaxy X – or Samsung Galaxy F, Samsung Galaxy Fold or Samsung Galaxy Flex as it might be called – at the Samsung Developer Conference back in November 2018, but we’re expecting a full-on launch of the device now.

Prior to this impending proper announcement, Samsung revealed something huge: its first foldable screen, which opens clamshell-style and flattens out for a tablet-size display.

The Infinity Flex Display, as the tech is called, is an entirely new direction for Samsung smartphones that required development of new materials and processes to make it functional.

Samsung shows off a foldable device at its developer conference. Image Credit: Samsung

What’s less clear is whether we saw the Infinity Flex Display mounted on the Galaxy Fold itself, or whether that was simply a placeholder phone to show off the screen. Samsung literally revealed it from the shadows to hide the design.

You can rewatch Samsung’s keynote from the Samsung Developer Conference on YouTube if you want to see the possible unveiling of the Galaxy X (skip to 1:23:00).

You can also read everything we know so far below. The Samsung Galaxy X launch has been rumored for a few years, and the leaks continue to roll in about the firm’s fabled foldable, flexible, bendable smartphone.

We’ve gone through all the flexible Samsung smartphone leaks, from the first reports of a folding phone back in 2011 to the most recent reports naming the Samsung Galaxy X, Galaxy Flex, Galaxy Fold and Galaxy F directly – with Galaxy Fold now looking to be the most likely launch name.

There’s a lot to unpack from several years, but we’re now very close to the Samsung Galaxy X launch, and things are beginning to get a little clearer on what we may be able to expect.

Samsung Galaxy X release date and price

The Samsung Galaxy X is more or less confirmed for a February 20 reveal now (in other words, today), after Samsung posted a teaser video featuring that date and the words “the future unfolds”, along with folding text.

You can’t get much clearer than that, and this teaser follows a similar billboard advert and rumors that the phone would land on February 20. That date is also when Samsung is set to announce the Samsung Galaxy S10 range, so it could be a busy event.

According to rumors, the company was planning on an MWC 2019 launch roughly a week later, but has brought it forward to get ahead of Huawei, which itself is announcing a foldable phone at MWC.

We had previously heard that the phone would get a proper announcement at some point in February, so this isn’t totally surprising.

Of course, this is just an announcement that we’re talking about. The Galaxy Fold probably won’t actually go on sale before March 2019, or maybe until April even.

Samsung for its part has said that the phone will launch in the first half of 2019 in “select markets” and that at least 1 million units will be produced.

However, it’s rumored to be exclusive to the EE network in the UK (with the Samsung store also selling it SIM-free). Whether there will be other network exclusives elsewhere in the world is unknown.

You may have to pay a lot for it too, as the latest report, coming from a source that apparently works for Samsung, is that there will be multiple models ranging from around £1,500 (approximately $1,930 / AU$2,660) to £2,000 (roughly $2,570 / AU$3,550).

That’s even more than earlier estimates, with for example an analyst reckoning previously that the Samsung Galaxy X price could reach ₩2,000,000 (around $1,850, £1,375, AU$2,400). That’s a price we’ve heard more than once, but again, the £1,500-£2,000 price above is more recent.

Samsung Galaxy X leaks and news

Our clearest look yet at the possible Galaxy X comes from Samsung showing offthe Infinity Flex display it will be using. It’s a clamshell design that can be unfolded to provide you with a big tablet screen, or folded down to more of a smartphone size.

Images (which you can see below) have also now leaked showing a phone with a similar design. Notably the handset here has a large notch in the top right corner, with a dual-lens camera.

You can also see a metal frame, small top and bottom bezels, and a speaker and USB-C port on the bottom edge.

Note also that the phone is called the Galaxy Fold in one of these images, adding evidence that this is what the phone will launch as. We would however take these images with a pinch of salt.

In another leak we’ve seen a teaser video which shows a phone of a similar design, though it looks more polished. It’s slim and has tiny bezels. We only see it for a couple of seconds though and it’s possible that this is a concept device rather than the actual Galaxy X that Samsung is set to launch.

Prior to all that, in November 2017 we got a look at the possible interface of the Galaxy X, revealing a familiarly Samsung UI, but where each half of the display shows a different screen, rather than just making everything bigger or smaller.

This interface was shown in a patent, which also gave us another look at the possible design of the phone, showing something with a laptop-like design, but a second screen where the keyboard would be.

The Samsung Galaxy X could essentially have two screens instead of one (credit: KIPRIS)

The announcement of the Galaxy F seems to be on schedule, as in early 2018 an industry source claimed Samsung would likely start producing the phone – which will apparently have a 7.3-inch display – in November 2018, with a launch likely in December or early 2019. That matches what DJ Koh has since claimed.

However, given that we only just got a partial look at the phone, a proper launch in early 2019 seems more likely than December.

But apparently prototypes of the folding phone had already been shown off behind closed doors back at CES 2018, which took place in January.

Meanwhile Samsung’s Q4 2017 financial results included claims that foldable OLED panels and phones could be a big money-maker for Samsung in 2018 and beyond – which is yet more evidence that the Galaxy Fold is coming soon.

In May 2018 we heard that Samsung had apparently changed the phone’s codename from ‘Valley’ to ‘Winner’ and that the final handset will be made up of three 3.5-inch screens, which can be opened out to tablet size or folded like a book.

Apparently the screens for this device will be ready by November 2018 and Samsung has created a curved battery for the phone with a capacity of between 3,000mAh and 6,000mAh.

That claim is at odds with a newer rumor though, which says the phone will actually have two 3,100mAh batteries, for a 6,200mAh capacity in total. Either way though it sounds like the Galaxy X will have a lot of juice.

Recently we’ve also heard that the Samsung Galaxy F – which could be the launch name for the phone – will have 512GB of storage, dual-SIM support, and the model number SM-F900U. Apparently the firmware is also in testing, which suggests it’s coming soon.

Another source meanwhile has said there could be either 512GB or 1TB of storage along with 12GB of RAM.

Additionally, the Samsung Galaxy X might have a triple-lens rear camera according to one source. They say that it will offer similar performance to the rumored triple-lens camera on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and that it will include a super wide-angle lens.

Another report, this time out of the Wall Street Journal, says that the internal name for the phone is the Samsung Galaxy Flex, so that also could be what it launches as.

Samsung Galaxy X: 8 years in the making

The idea of a foldable phone isn’t new to Samsung, in fact way back in 2011 the company showed off a prototype of exactly that.

The device looked chunky and awkward, but even back then it somewhat worked, remaining intact after 100,000 folds, with only a 6% drop in brightness at the center, where all the folding action happened.

A foldable phone (not the Galaxy X) shown off by Samsung in 2011

This clearly wasn’t a commercial product, but later that year Samsung launched a concept video (see it below) of a fully bendable (and transparent) mobile device.

It could fold out from a phone-sized screen to a tablet-sized one, showing Samsung’s ambitions for the technology. Now, technology hasn’t advanced quite this far, so don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy Fold to be just a folding screen – but the vision is an interesting one.

 

 

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