Oh hello again Samsung folding smartphone rumour, we were wondering where you’ve been. Yes, it seems since everyone got wind of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 curved display edge models we all sort of forgot about the fact that Samsung has been working on true flexible displays for several years now. Every now and then, the firm pops up and says “still working on it!”, and we know it has plans (because it’s said so before) to introduce an actual folding display device using flexible OLED at the earliest possible opportunity.
So now we’re inside 2016 and a new report from Korean source etnews claims that Samsung is preparing mass-production of folding flexible OLED displays by the end of the year, with the aim to possibly introduce phones designed around these panels inside 2017. It’s alleged that the first model would be a 5in smartphone which can be unfolded into a 7in tablet. Dubbed “Project Valley” the prototype is thought to be undergoing testing with Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 and 820 chips with 3GB of RAM.
It’s an exciting possibility that we’ll see a hybrid phone-tablet next year, however, it’s important to remember this will be the very earliest iteration of such technology. Concepts have been designed before based on a much more flexible future, where other internal components such as the battery and processor are also flexible; allowing for a device that can bend and fold in any direction. That’s unlikely to happen with this first round of devices, as the only tech that is becoming flexible is the screen – we expect a device which features a flexible screen but which is based around a solid body containing solid processor and battery tech, just like other current smartphones.