Teased for many years, Samsung's collapsible smartphone has finally come to the fore in early November 2018. Since then, rumors and official information continue to rain: the opportunity to make a complete point on all known elements and supposed to be the first flexible phone of the South Korean group.
It was on November 7, 2018, at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, that the Asian multinational revealed what the world was waiting for: its first foldable smartphone previously nicknamed Galaxy F (F, for "Foldable", foldable in French). The prototype exhibited, however, raised many questions regarding the small amount of information provided by the group.
Samsung Mobile's boss, DJ Koh, then gave a media release a few days later: the company will produce a million flexible smartphones as initial objectives. The fact is that the foldable phone race was well underway, with all or most of the major manufacturers positioned on the niche. For its part, Samsung could then begin to disclose the first features of his product, not without attending the first waves of rumors about him. We take stock.
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At first, and this is probably the first thought that has been made many people, Samsung's foldable smartphone seemed thick. An effect justified by the presence of a shell on the prototype, as explained by the leaders of the group. Some privileged customers were able to test it during CES 2019, which were interviewed by the Korean media The Investor.
Verdict: "a stable grip", without a real impression of thickness. Customers even praise the fineness of the product once unfolded. We can therefore expect a refined terminal, whose design departs considerably from our first impressions. No information, however, leaked about the presence of a fingerprint sensor (behind or integrated on the screen), nor on the materials used for the back cover of the device.
This did not stop the videographer Concept Creator, known for his visuals usually based on leaks, to imagine a foldable smartphone equipped with a glass back and a central rear hinge through which the product would bend. But these are just concepts and not official images provided by Samsung. Still, the result is attractive.
The screen is probably the component on which we have the most official information. The Infinity Flex Display, of its name, was the subject of an important announcement made by the chaebol during the SDC: in smartphone mode, its diagonal tutoie the 4.5 inches for a definition of 1960 x 840 pixels, in 21: 9 ratio and with a density of 475 pixels per inch.
When the terminal is unfolded, the diagonal ticks the 7.3 inches for a resolution of 1536 x 2152 pixels. Results: a ratio of 5: 7 for a density of 360 pixels per inch. All these characteristics are likely to evolve before the release of a successful product. And that's about all we know about the Infinity Flex Display.
"Specializing in multitasking" and "really handy for those who have both a smartphone and a tablet": here are the feedback from the testers who had the chance to touch it at the fingertips at the CES 2019. It is therefore necessary to 'wait for very high-end internal components to turn such a beast. But nothing has yet leaked on the SoC preferred by engineering teams, although we can easily assume the presence of the Exynos 9820 or Snapdragon 855.
According to estimates by the Korean agency CGS-CIMB Research, the Galaxy F would ship two batteries for a total volume of 5000 to 6000 mAh, among the largest on the market. The elements of Galaxy Club tend to confirm these speculations: the media evokes two batteries of 3100 mAh – so 6200 mAh in total – presumably stored on both sides of the smartphone. At its side, 128 GB of internal storage would be added. On the other hand, the product of the Asian firm would not be compatible with the 5G, technology that it would reserve for a special declination of the Galaxy S10.
Still according to the assessments of the aforementioned agency, two 12-megapixel sensors would invite the back of the product, and an 8-megapixel sensor would be embedded in the front. In the idea, the estimated number of devices would correspond to the visuals of Concept Creator evoked above.
Software and interface
Who says big project, says big ways: Samsung foldable smartphone could benefit from a special version of Android, according to sources Bloomberg. Google is not for nothing, since the Mountain View company has developed a dedicated interface dedicated to flexible phones that partner manufacturers could easily integrate into their product.
The US giant has even announced "screen continuity", an API allowing Android applications to know when the size of a screen is changed, and adapt to it. Or a perfectly adapted API for foldable smartphones.
Announcement, availability and price
According to the Korean news agency Yonhap, the Galaxy F is expected to be sold for two million won, or about 1560 euros HT. An estimate corroborated by the expertise of CGS-CIMB Research, which, after analysis of the components, would expect a fee grid of around 1600 euros.
Samsung plans to introduce its device to the market in early 2019, the month of February being the most likely. The company could unveil the device at the same time as the Galaxy S10 at a major conference on February 20.