According to new reports out of the company’s home country, a least one of Samsung’s long-rumored folding smartphones might closely resemble classic flip phones more than anything else. That doesn’t mean it won’t feature full Android or even that it will be functionally different from a more typical Galaxy-branded device when it’s unfolded. However, it will reportedly only fold two-thirds of the way up the display rather than folding completely in half. The current speculation is that the decision to fold the handset that way would be to allow for features similar to an ‘always-on-display.’ More specifically, the rectangular portion of the screen still visible when folded could be used for showing the time, date, notifications, and other pertinent data. Meanwhile, the overall space taken up by the handset would be reduced for easier storage in a pocket or bag.
Recent rumors have suggested that the smartphone might cost as much as $1,850 and be classed as a 7.3-inch phablet when opened. If it folds by two thirds, that should result in a device that’s somewhat shorter – if a bit thicker – than a standard Android flagship when folded. It would also leave plenty of real estate for items to be displayed on the upper portion. There’s no indication as to what kind of internal specifications users can expect with such an exorbitant price tag. It would be expected to deliver a top-of-the-line flagship SoC, backed by plenty of RAM. At that cost, it could ship with as much as 8GB RAM and storage to match with Huawei’s Porsche Edition Huawei Mate RS at 512GB but that won’t necessarily be the case. This will almost certainly be among Samsung’s first devices to take advantage of the company’s plans for mass production of folding displays. That alone could drive the cost up significantly.
On the other hand, these are only rumors at this point and should be taken with a grain of salt. The Korean tech giant has at least one other big reveal already planned for the year, following earlier announcements for its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. That will center around the as-yet-unannounced Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is set for August 9. A new Gear-branded smartwatch is speculated to be revealed at the same event or earlier. So a folding flagship phablet could be a device too far for this year.