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Fast Charge: Can Samsung’s sliding screen tech turn the page on foldables?

OPINION: Could sliding screens be a bigger hit than foldables? Samsung’s showcase at CES certainly has us wondering.

Every year at CES, we hope to see the next big thing in tech to be announced and demonstrated, months or even years before it becomes a reality for consumers, and that may just have happened with Samsung’s innovative sliding screen devices.

While we’ve been awed by the manufacturer’s previous efforts at folding phones, such as the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4, it seems that these handsets have yet to really take the mainstream by storm. While you might happen see a few people toting this form factor, they’re in a firm minority, for a few reasons. The elevated prices of such devices is the obvious cause but many more people are questioning whether the novelty would actually bring a noticeable amount of convenience to their day-to-day lives.

Nonetheless, foldables are one of the (few) major innovations in smartphones over the past number of years, and Samsung was a pioneer of the design. It’s certainly no time to back down, so how about doubling down?

Cue Samsung’s CES 2023 presentation, where the manufacturer revealed its lastest screen innovation to give us a prototype that not only folds but also slides. The Samsung Flex Hybrid laptop can double up as a 10.5-inch 4:3 display or a full 12.4-inch 16:10 screen. So could sliding screens be mobile technology’s Sliding Doors moment?

Given the space-saving advantages, it surely can’t be long before this laptop tech is applied to smartphones, bringing the dream of the hybrid phone/tablet even closer. While the Galaxy Fold does give plenty of additional space to play with, a larger – and crucially, wider – screen would be that much more handy for enjoying streaming, games, and more.

The fact that it would slip into your pocket more easily when it’s on standby is another potential added benefit.

However, if this is the future for smartphones, and foldables as we currently know them are just one step along the path, then we’re still likely to have to wait quite a bit longer before we see such handsets in action. After all, the prototype shown off by Samsung at CES 2023 was for a device with a larger footprint, and work will probably have to be done to get a smartphone working the same way but seeing such technology already making it to the show floor is exactly why you can never look away from the annual trade show hosted in Las Vegas.

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