Samsung foldable phone FAQ: 'Galaxy X' price, specs, recover date

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Samsung shows off a antecedent foldable phone.


Angela Lang/CNET

The foldable phone epoch has strictly begun. Samsung introduced a universe to a first foldable phone this week, a device rumored to be called a Galaxy X or Galaxy F. This was not a standard proclamation with any fact on arrangement as they were for a Galaxy S9 or Note 9 unveiling. Rather, Samsung teased a foldable phone by a brief video and by hoisting aloft a operative antecedent in an executive’s palm on stage.

Although Samsung never displayed a foldable phone adult tighten — not even behind museum potion — a device is copiousness real. It’s conceptualized adequate to earn Google’s backing. In fact, Samsung’s plan seems to have spurred official Android support for all foldable phones, no matter a manufacturer. Meanwhile, Samsung collected developers in a Wednesday afternoon eventuality to share a few some-more details, such as a phone’s 4.5 and 7.3-inch shade sizes.

Despite a dribs and drabs of information, a foldable phone’s brief onstage coming raised some-more questions than answers. Here’s what we know — and what’s still to come.

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What’s a phone called?

Samsung didn’t give a foldable phone a name, yet rumors advise that it’ll be called a Galaxy X or Galaxy F. The “F” could mount for “fold” or “flex”. The “X” competence meant “extra” or “10″, given there are 9 Galaxy S phones out — yet we do pattern to see a Galaxy S10 around Mar this year.

What is a foldable phone?

If we go by Samsung’s definition, a foldable phone is a device with a mobile tie (hence a “phone” part) that looks like a inscription when it’s full non-stop and can tighten to demeanour like your common phone. Samsung’s antecedent has a tablet-like shade that closes executive like a book, yet Royole’s FlexPai, another foldable phone, has an outward-folding screen, that means a “screen” is on a outside. There’s no singular definition.

Didn’t ZTE make a foldable phone?

Last year’s ZTE Axon M was an early chronicle of a foldable phone that trustworthy dual apart phone screens by a executive hinge. Samsung’s foldable phone (and Royole’s FlexPai) seem to have unibody displays that overlay during a midpoint. A magnet secures a FlexPai’s shade in a “closed” position.

We can credit a Axon M with exploring opposite new ways to use a dual-screen device; Royole has already adopted some of these, for example, mirroring a essence of both screens so people on presumably side of a list can watch a same video clip. ZTE could unequivocally good come adult with a second-generation foldable (or “foldable”) phone.

What’s a advantage of a foldable phone?

There are dual categorical advantages. First, a foldable phone can some-more than double your accessible shade space. For example, Samsung’s indication has a 4.5-inch arrangement that you’ll use when it’s closed. Then a inside opens into a 7.3-inch screen. You could disagree that we have a homogeneous of 3 displays to work with.

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A incomparable shade gives we an stretched observation surface, yet it also unlocks opposite ways that we can use your device. For example, Samsung’s foldable arrangement will let we multitask in 3 areas during once.  ZTE’s Axon M lets we use a whole shade for one app, bucket a apart app on any screen, or counterpart a same app on both screens.

What happens when we open and tighten Samsung’s phone when you’re regulating an app?

Like a Royole FlexPai, this foldable phone will automatically send a app or shade you’re looking during in a folded-up “closed” position to a “open” position, and clamp versa. We beheld some loiter here on a FlexPai, yet haven’t had a probability to see how Samsung will hoop a transition.

What’s so good about Samsung’s display?

Samsung combined a new arrangement for a foldable phone, a Infinity Flex Display. The association pronounced that it had to cgange a common layers that are partial of any arrangement (this is what lights adult a “screen” we see on your phone). All displays are done of layers, yet they’re customarily built and unmoving. The Infinity Flex Display uses a new glue that Samsung grown to laminate a arrangement layers so they can flex and overlay hundreds of thousands of times.

The association also indispensable to make a Infinity Flex Display thinner than any other mobile display. It cut a density of a polarizer layer, that helps make a shade legible, by 45 percent.

When will Samsung’s foldable phone go on sale?

Samsung pronounced it will start mass producing a phone in a “coming months.” The foldable phone will expected start offered in 2019. We pattern Samsung to reason a apart launch eventuality to deliver a details. Again, this was usually a hide peek.

How most will it cost?

The brief answer is that we don’t know since Samsung hasn’t announced it. However, it’s easy to theory that this will be an costly device. The Royole FlexPai’s foldable phone for developers costs $1,318 for a device with 6GB RAM and 128GB of inner storage. The chronicle with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage goes for $1,469.

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Apps will be means to work 3 opposite ways on a foldable Samsung phone’s screen.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Since Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 for energy users starts during $999, it’s a satisfactory theory that a cutting-edge foldable phone would simply start during $1,500, if not more. We can pattern devicemakers like Samsung (and Royole) to clear high prices formed on sum shade genuine estate. After all, they reason, you’re removing a inscription and phone in one — and phone prices are usually getting higher.

What’s a battery life like?

Samsung aims to give a foldable phone battery life that lasts as prolonged as stream Galaxy smartphones, pronounced Jisun Park, a engineering executive and conduct of a complement program organisation for Samsung’s mobile business. That’s notwithstanding a fact there’s some-more active shade to empty a battery. The US chronicle of a Note 9 lasted for an normal of 19 hours and 20 mins in CNET’s looping video empty test.

Where is a battery anyway?

We don’t have entrance to a pattern particulars, yet batteries don’t bend. Expect a vast battery to lay on one side and many of a other components to change it out on a other. One vital censure we had with a ZTE Axon M was that it felt imbalanced with a half containing a battery drastically thicker and heavier than a other half. Samsung will have to watch out for that.

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Samsung’s new Infinity Flex Display on a initial foldable phone.


Angela Lang/CNET

Is that pattern what a foldable phone will unequivocally demeanour like?

Almost really not. Samsung showed off a antecedent model, commenting that a genuine tools were dim within. Samsung isn’t prepared for a open — or competitors — to see a final design.

If there’s one breadcrumb strictly left us about a foldable phone’s contingent shape, it’s in a new One UI handling system. The association mentioned that a dull rectilinear edges that form a vital pattern pattern are meant to compare a devices’ dull edges. The antecedent foldable phone has 90-degree edges and thick bezels. We can expect a softer look.

What is a device done of?

Materials are a large understanding since buyers have been conditioned to spend some-more for aluminum, ceramic and glass. But a FlexPai uses a cosmetic shade and physique to grasp coherence and keep costs in check, and a ZTE Axon M traded down camera peculiarity and other tools to keep it affordable.

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Royole’s FlexPai phone represents another prophesy for foldable phones.


Angela Lang/CNET

It’s probable that a foldable phone will have during slightest one cosmetic screen. When CNE asked, Samsung’s Park suggested during a eventuality for developers that a extraneous shade could presumably have a opposite element commanding a arrangement than a interior screen. Our theory is that a 4.5-inch shade could be done from Gorilla Glass while a 7.3-inch shade inside could be done from plastic.

Samsung did not respond to a ask for comment.

How does it work?

In general, you’ll start regulating a foldable phone like we would your common phone, and afterwards open it when we wish to take advantage of a incomparable shade space. Samsung didn’t share sum about how a hardware and program share messages.

Does it run on Android?

Yes, yet there’s more. Samsung announced that a foldable phone, and destiny phones, will run on a redesigned chronicle of Samsung’s tradition program called One UI. Samsung is creation a One UI beta accessible this month, yet usually for Android 9 Pie users. It’s a satisfactory gamble that a foldable phone will launch with Android Pie.

Which apps will work on a phone?

It’s still early days, so we don’t have many sum about apps. That’s partial of a reason Samsung denounced a device during SDC, a developer conference: To get developers on house with ancillary a phone. Samsung’s in-house apps, such as SmartThings, will presumably work on a device, and longtime partner Flipboard showed off a initial efforts on an app.

Since a biggest advantage is a ability to multitask — regulating 3 apps during one time or accessing some-more facilities in a sold app during once — a responsibility is on developers to emanate constrained apps that work seamlessly on a foldable phone. Samsung is relying on app developers to assistance innovate as they did with stylus-compatible apps for a Galaxy Note.

When we open a device, does a smaller shade go dark?

At a moment, Samsung’s pattern will “turn off” a 4.5-inch shade and open your app on a incomparable 7.3-inch interior screen, picking adult where we left off.

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What’s Samsung’s foe like?

Small during this point, yet a destiny looks fierce. The clamshell ZTE Axon M isn’t a vital competitor, and conjunction is a Royole FlexPai, even yet it kick Samsung to a honestly foldable display. But we do know that LG and Huawei have their possess skeleton for foldable phones in a works. LG is rumored to launch as early as January during CES 2019.

Will Samsung sell a foldable displays to other devicemakers?

During an SDC row Wednesday, a developer asked when Samsung would sell a arrangement record to rivals. It declined to criticism on that possibility, yet Samsung is one of a world’s vital arrangement row producers. It’s expected it will eventually sell a record to competitors to use in their possess devices.

Is this all for real?

A foldable phone might feel like a siren dream, yet this is one anticipation that might indeed come to life. Questions sojourn about a price, practicality and preference of regulating a foldable device.

What comes after foldable?

“Our creation tube includes rollable and pliant displays,” Samsung’s Denison pronounced Wednesday during a presentation.

CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this story.

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