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Don’t trust this Galaxy S11 patent ‘leak’, even though it looks super awesome

The Galaxy S11 could have an innovative sliding screen design that lets you convert it into a tablet, according to a fresh batch of reports.

The news broke over the weekend via Dutch site LetsGoDigital, which created renders of a phone based off a new Samsung expandable screen patent it had found. The design sees a secondary screen slide out of the phone’s main body, creating a tablet-like device.

Sound good? Personally we weren’t that enamoured with the idea – after all, the screen design would increase the phone’s thickness and at best create a giant screen with an atypical aspect ratio most apps aren’t optimised for when in tablet mode.

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But that didn’t stop a number of sites reporting the patent as a leak. To be clear, a patent filing and a leak are two different things. Companies file patents all the time as protective measures, in case they may eventually want to use whatever is covered in the patent. It doesn’t mean the company has plans to actually use it, or has a device in development with it.

On top of that, while the Galaxy S11 is likely in development already, given Samsung’s current release strategy and its ongoing woes with the Galaxy Fold, we can’t see it taking such a big risk on a new form-factor for a second time.

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The Galaxy Fold was unveiled alongside Samsung’s Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10 5G in February. As the name would suggest, it’s the first folding phone from Samsung.

It won early accolades for its innovative design, which lets you fold it into a phone or tablet. But following widespread reports of early review samples breaking moments after being powered up, Samsung was forced to delay the Galaxy Fold’s release. It still isn’t available in the UK.

The fact that phone sales in the top end of the phone market are slowing down, according to most analyst sales figures, would mean such a bold move would be very risky for Samsung.

The production process alone would make manufacturing a new sliding screen phone incredibly expensive. It’s too early to speculate what exact features the S11 will have, but we’d expect a more conservative strategy due to the combination of factors.

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