Samsung Galaxy Fold release date, news and features

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold has been officially unveiled on stage at Samsung’ s Unpacked 2019 launch event.

It’s the first foldable phone from the firm and today we got our first proper look at the device after a preview was given to us during Samsung’s Developer Conference towards the end of 2018.

Brace yourself though, as Samsung has made it clear that the Galaxy Fold is a premium device, and it certainly has the price tag to back up that claim. 

This isn’t a device for everyone – you’ll really need to be committed to owning the next generation of device if you opt for the Fold.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a 7.3-inch foldable display. Image Credit: TechRadar

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung’s first folding smartphone
  • When is it out? April 26 (US), May 3 (Europe)
  • What will it cost? $1,980 (€2,000)

Samsung Galaxy Fold release date and price

The Samsung Galaxy Fold price is a staggering $1,980 (€2,000), making it comfortably more expensive than pretty much every other mainstream smartphone on the market.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold release date is April 26 in the US and May 3 in Europe. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold design and displays

On the front of the Samsung Galaxy Fold there is a 4.6-inch display, but open the phone up and you’ll find a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex display which transforms the phone into a tablet.

The Galaxy Fold will be available in four colors; silver, black, green and blue. Depending on the color you choose, you will also be able to personalize the color of the hinge.

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Power and interface

The Samsung Galaxy Fold packs 12GB of RAM and a high-end 7nm processor, making it one of the most powerful phones on the market. It also comes with 512GB of internal storage and support for UFS 3.0, allowing the handset to read data even faster.

The large screen supports three app multi-tasking, allowing you to have three apps open on the display at the same time.

App Continuity allows you to continue your app experience as you fold between the two displays. 

Apps such as WhatsApp and Microsoft Office have been specially adapted to work with the Galaxy Fold’s 7.3-inch display.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold packs two batteries which work as one unique power source.

It has a total of six cameras, with three on the rear, one on the front and two above the 7.3-inch display inside the fold.

There’s a side mounted fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung says a luxury device needs luxury packaging, and it’ll include a pair of its new wireless buds in the box.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked launch event is happening right now and we’ll be updating this article with all the details on the Galaxy Fold as they’re announced on stage. 

Previous Galaxy Fold leaks and rumors

Samsung Galaxy X leaks and rumors

Our clearest look yet at the possible Galaxy X comes from Samsung showing off the Infinity Flex display it will be using. It’s a clamshell design that can be unfolded to provide you with a big tablet screen, or folded down to more of a smartphone size.

Images (which you can see below) have also now leaked showing a phone with a similar design. Notably the handset here has a large notch in the top right corner, with a dual-lens camera.

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You can also see a metal frame, small top and bottom bezels, and a speaker and USB-C port on the bottom edge.

Note also that the phone is called the Galaxy Fold in one of these images, adding evidence that this is what the phone will launch as. We would however take these images with a pinch of salt.

In another leak we’ve seen a teaser video which shows a phone of a similar design, though it looks more polished. It’s slim and has tiny bezels. We only see it for a couple of seconds though and it’s possible that this is a concept device rather than the actual Galaxy X that Samsung is set to launch.

Prior to all that, in November 2017 we got a look at the possible interface of the Galaxy X, revealing a familiarly Samsung UI, but where each half of the display shows a different screen, rather than just making everything bigger or smaller.

This interface was shown in a patent, which also gave us another look at the possible design of the phone, showing something with a laptop-like design, but a second screen where the keyboard would be.

Samsung Galaxy X

The Samsung Galaxy X could essentially have two screens instead of one (credit: KIPRIS)

The announcement of the Galaxy F seems to be on schedule, as in early 2018 an industry source claimed Samsung would likely start producing the phone – which will apparently have a 7.3-inch display – in November 2018, with a launch likely in December or early 2019. That matches what DJ Koh has since claimed.

However, given that we only just got a partial look at the phone, a proper launch in early 2019 seems more likely than December.

But apparently prototypes of the folding phone had already been shown off behind closed doors back at CES 2018, which took place in January.

Meanwhile Samsung’s Q4 2017 financial results included claims that foldable OLED panels and phones could be a big money-maker for Samsung in 2018 and beyond – which is yet more evidence that the Galaxy Fold is coming soon.

In May 2018 we heard that Samsung had apparently changed the phone’s codename from ‘Valley’ to ‘Winner‘ and that the final handset will be made up of three 3.5-inch screens, which can be opened out to tablet size or folded like a book.

Apparently the screens for this device will be ready by November 2018 and Samsung has created a curved battery for the phone with a capacity of between 3,000mAh and 6,000mAh.

That claim is at odds with a newer rumor though, which says the phone will actually have two 3,100mAh batteries, for a 6,200mAh capacity in total. Either way though it sounds like the Galaxy X will have a lot of juice.

Recently we’ve also heard that the Samsung Galaxy F – which could be the launch name for the phone – will have 512GB of storage, dual-SIM support, and the model number SM-F900U. Apparently the firmware is also in testing, which suggests it’s coming soon.

Another source meanwhile has said there could be either 512GB or 1TB of storage along with 12GB of RAM.

Additionally, the Samsung Galaxy X might have a triple-lens rear camera according to one source. They say that it will offer similar performance to the rumored triple-lens camera on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and that it will include a super wide-angle lens.

Another report, this time out of the Wall Street Journal, says that the internal name for the phone is the Samsung Galaxy Flex, so that also could be what it launches as.

Samsung Galaxy X: 8 years in the making

The idea of a foldable phone isn’t new to Samsung, in fact way back in 2011 the company showed off a prototype of exactly that.

The device looked chunky and awkward, but even back then it somewhat worked, remaining intact after 100,000 folds, with only a 6% drop in brightness at the center, where all the folding action happened.

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A foldable phone (not the Galaxy X) shown off by Samsung in 2011

This clearly wasn’t a commercial product, but later that year Samsung launched a concept video (see it below) of a fully bendable (and transparent) mobile device.

It could fold out from a phone-sized screen to a tablet-sized one, showing Samsung’s ambitions for the technology. Now, technology hasn’t advanced quite this far, so don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy Fold to be just a folding screen – but the vision is an interesting one.

While a device like the one in the video above is still years away, by 2012 Samsung was already hard at work trying to launch the first generation of flexible or foldable phones, but a report late in the year claimed that problems with the production of flexible screens would hold the first bendy display back until at least 2013.

That didn’t stop Samsung showing off another video of a foldable future though, highlighting all sorts of transparent screens, made from plastic that’s thin, light and flexible enough to fully fold or roll.

And as 2012 came to a close it seemed Samsung might be overcoming its production problems, with another report claiming that its flexible plastic screens were in the final stage of development, with the first phones sporting them likely to land in mid-2013.

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Samsung’s foldable display on stage at CES 2013 (credit: Engadget)

Samsung’s bendy plastic screens got a more real-world debut at CES 2013, along with a name – they were now called ‘Youm’, though it was clear from the flexible prototype on show that Samsung was still far from putting a Youm display on a commercial device.

That was made even more clear when the tech was reportedly hit with new manufacturing issues in April 2013. 

Supposedly the previous problems had been solved, but now Samsung was apparently struggling with the encapsulation technology, which protects the screen from moisture and air damage.

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The Samsung Galaxy Round – the starting point for the Samsung Galaxy X?

The closest thing we actually got to a foldable phone from Samsung in 2013 was the Samsung Galaxy Round. This was far from the prototypes and concepts we’d seen, but as the world’s first curved screen smartphone it was a big step in the right direction.

That was followed up by the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which curved in a now more familiar direction, one which Samsung has since fully embraced and features in its latest flagship handsets including the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

These are still far from being foldable, and while a Samsung executive did promise a truly bendable device by the end of 2014, whatever he was referring to never appeared.

Talk of foldable phones went a bit quiet until mid-2015, when it was rumored that an upcoming phone codenamed Project Valley could be foldable.

At this point little was known about the device, which would apparently have two screens, but it was said to be in early development, so was unlikely to arrive for a while, if at all.

In September 2015 an “insider” claimed that we’d see a bendable phone in January 2016. It wasn’t clear whether this was Project Valley or not, but apparently it would come in both mid-range and high-end flavors. Though, of course, it didn’t arrive at all.

In May 2016 Project Valley got a new name – the Samsung Galaxy X, which was believed to be the name it would release under.

According to reports at the time it would be ready for release in 2017 and would have a foldable 4K display, so that the resolution would remain high even when the phone was folded.

We were sceptical about that launch date at the time, and were right to be, as we’re now in 2018 and still haven’t seen it – though we might be about to.

Samsung Galaxy X

Samsung’s roll-up, non-touch display at SID 2016

But that’s not quite the full story so far. At SID 2016 Samsung showed off a roll-out display (above) – but one which didn’t have a touchscreen layer, which would be pretty vital for a smartphone.

Then in June 2017 “people familiar with the matter” reported that we might see two foldable phones from Samsung in 2017 – backing up those previous Galaxy Fold reports.

Supposedly one would fold out from a 5-inch handset to an 8-inch tablet, much like the concept video Samsung showed back at the beginning of our story, while the other would fold in half like a cosmetic compact, along the lines of a folding phone patent we’d already seen.

Samsung Galaxy X

This 2017 launch didn’t happen, but Samsung was clearly on the right track, with another patent looking to solve one of the biggest problems with folding phones – the ability to fold without damaging any internal components.

The patent described an “artificial muscle”, which would move in time with the screen bending to protect other components.

Samsung Galaxy X

Is this the Samsung Galaxy X? (credit: GalaxyClub)

Another patent, spotted by GalaxyClub, highlighted a long device, with a shape more like a remote control than a smartphone, but one which could fold down to half the size.

The shape doesn’t seem particularly practical, so we doubt this is the form the Galaxy X will take, but it’s vaguely along the lines of the phone-to-tablet convertible we’ve been hearing about, and a similar design has popped up since.

Samsung Galaxy X

One of the more recent bits of information that may point to the foldable X looks different than previous info. Much like the ZTE Axon M that came out in 2017, images from a patent filing (shown above) show off a bezel-licious device that folds in a clamshell design. 

So there were lots of signs of the phone being developed, and according to some sources, more than 100,000 units were going to roll out in the third quarter of 2017 – though they added that plans for a 2017 launch could apparently be changed, which has clearly happened if any such plans ever existed.

That gelled with a tweet from tipster @mmddj_china, who claimed the Galaxy X would land in Q3 of 2017 – which again, obviously, did not happen.

Elsewhere we were hearing that Samsung would only have a prototype ready by then, and supply chain sources speaking to DigiTimes said that a small production of foldable handsets would be made in Q4 of the year, but technical issues may mean we wouldn’t see mass production before mid-2018 – yet another false prophecy.

Other sources similarly said that several thousand dual-screen prototypes might land in 2017, but that a commercially available product wouldn’t.

One of Samsung Display’s own engineers has claimed we haven’t seen a foldable phone yet “because the bezel-free display currently sells well, we still have enough time to develop foldable display. The technology is expected to be mature around 2019.”

Although more recent news comes direct from Samsung’s mobile boss, and is a little better, as he claimed the company was aiming for a 2018 launch, assuming it could overcome certain unspecified problems. Though he’s since slightly backtracked on those claims.

More recently still he’s said that rather than being the first the company’s goal is to make meaningful products and “roll out new products worth paying for”.

A polished product is probably worth waiting for, but it seems the wait might almost be over, because, as noted above, Samsung has now shown off aspects of its folding phone, which is a good thing too, as the foldable Royole FlexPai phone is already available.



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