You might think the Samsung Edge display is cool, but something cooler is coming very soon. Samsung has been working on foldable displays for many years now, and the Korean giant might be ready to launch its first foldable smartphone in 2017.
Where and when will be unveiled?
Sources have told Bloomberg that we could see Samsung’s first foldable phone in early 2017, possibly debuting at Mobile World Congress. The company is apparently considering building two new smartphone models — with one that folds like a wallet. One of the two devices will have a 5-inch screen when used as a cellphone, but it can be rolled out to show off an 8-inch display.
Another rumor from a Weibo user via Sammobile says the South Korean giant will release five smartphones in 2017 — the Samsung Galaxy S8, the S8 Edge, the Galaxy Note 7, the Note 7 Edge, and the Galaxy X. The Galaxy X is the highlight here, as it will be an entirely new category of Samsung’s lineup that will focus on the company’s foldable display for smartphones.
All the mentioned devices, except the X, will have a Super AMOLED display with a 2.5K resolution, as well as a RGB subpixel arrangement. The Galaxy X, codenamed Project Valley, is aiming far higher, with a 4K display using a “diamond PenTile subpixel arrangement.”
Other previous reports confirm the existence of Project Valley.
Related: It may be up to Samsung and LG if the Apple iPhone 8 has a folding design
The company introduced the concept of a foldable display at CES 2013 and supposedly showed its first foldable phone prototype in a private meeting at CES 2014.
However, an old report by SamMobile suggests Project Valley may not have a wide international launch at first. According to anonymous inside sources speaking to the publication, when the Galaxy X first goes on sale, it’ll be available in the U.K., Germany, Italy, South Korea, France, Poland, and Nordic countries. An exclusive version for the U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse is also listed. We can’t confirm this information, so take it with a grain of salt.
The U.S. isn’t mentioned, and although it’s certainly not official, restricting the phone’s launch would fit in with Samsung’s recent strategy. Samsung has been experimenting with launching different devices in different locations, controversially deciding to hold the Galaxy Note 5 back from the U.K. and Europe. Could Project Valley be a “designer” phone that’s all about the look, which Samsung says is what the region is looking for? If so, a U.S. launch may not come very quickly.
How about the specifications?
Samsung is allegedly testing two variants of the device, with the main difference being the processor. One has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 620, while the other has the Snapdragon 820. These are some of the newest processors from Qualcomm that feature Quick Charge 3.0, but if a launch is slated for 2017, it’s likely Samsung will opt for something newer down the road.
Related: Samsung wants to give you a smartphone you can fold in 2016
The only other specs that were revealed with this report include 3GB of RAM, a MicroSD slot for expanded storage, and a non-removable battery. The presence of a MicroSD slot will be welcomed by many, but it’s unlikely this phone will be all that affordable, at least early on.
We’ll keep updating this article as we learn more about Samsung’s Galaxy X.
Updated on 06-07-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in reports that Samsung is planning two foldable phones next year.
Updated on 05-13-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in news of five Galaxy launches next year, including the Galaxy X.
Updated on 10-28-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in rumors of which countries will initially see Project Valley on sale, and the U.S. isn’t among them.