Samsung's first foldable smartphone has been illustrated in a number of new concept renders that appeared online earlier today, having been shared by Dutch tech outlet Nieuwe Mobiel. The half a dozen images that can be seen in the gallery below are seemingly based on a wide variety of recent reports about the upcoming handset, as well as a number of corresponding patents that Samsung secured in various jurisdictions over the last several years.
The device concept is essentially an evolution of the flip phone formula, featuring a discreet hinge and a bendable OLED display panel with a tall aspect ratio. Samsung's first foldable smartphone is expected to run Android but likely won't be capable of being completely folded in half. Instead, the closed state of the device will resemble that of a traditional wallet. A stripe on the very bottom of its screen will also be visible while the handset is folded, serving a similar role to that of the Always-On Display functionality supported by the company's contemporary Android devices, according to recent reports.
Samsung is understood to have delayed and restarted its bendable handset project on several occasions over the last half a decade, with the company reportedly struggling with yield rates during trial production, as well as facing issues with overall product durability. The gadget has previously been rumored as launching under the Galaxy X moniker but newer reports indicate Samsung may also opt to advertise it as the Galaxy F. The unconventional device is likely to be positioned as a niche offering catering to gamers and tech enthusiasts, with its price tag allegedly hovering around the $1,500 mark. While the South Korean tech giant already confirmed it's aiming to release a foldable smartphone in 2019, it has yet to attach a specific timeframe to that ambition. The company's first major opportunity to introduce such a product is the next iteration of Las Vegas-based CES taking place in January.