The Samsung Galaxy Fold has just hit the market after a long delay, but patents for a potential sequel have already emerged. Has the design finally been perfected?
Samsung has registered new patented designs for foldable phones, and while one of them folds out vertically just like the current Samsung Galaxy Fold, the other opens horizontally — more similar to a very large flip phone from years gone by. LetsGoDigital has rendered images based on these patents, and they look very impressive. Is this the next stage in folding touchscreen design? We certainly hope so.
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The first design is the most similar to the existing Galaxy Fold device. It opens vertically like a book, has a triple camera system on the rear and a small screen on its exterior, while a small selfie camera will be found either on the right-hand or left-hand side of the unfurled screen (both variants have been applied for). However it’s the second design that is likely to receive the most attention.
The alternative version folds out horizontally along its middle, giving it a look similar to a clamshell flip phone, or even a small laptop. Thanks to this design, the selfie camera is housed centrally at the top of the unfolded screen, and the exterior screen looks somewhat bigger thanks to its landscape orientation; a welcome change considering we described the small outer screen of the original Galaxy Fold as being “tiny by today’s standards”, with “a comically large top and chin”.
In fact, this new design looks somewhat similar to that of the rumoured Motorola Razr 2019, so it will be fascinating to see which brand can do it better.
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But for now there’s a more immediate threat to Samsung’s dominance of the emerging foldables market: the Huawei Mate X. Though it is unlikely to come with Google apps pre-installed (thanks to the Android ban), in our brief hands-on we much preferred its design: it felt very smooth to open and close, and when folded out it had a pleasingly thin design while the screen was uninterrupted by a noticeable bump. It’s due to be released sometime later this year, and we’re looking forward to putting it through our full review once it’s out.