The rumor mill has been churning out details about Samsung’s foldable Galaxy X smartphone for years. The ‘folding phone’ in more than just a rumor. Samsung’s mobile business chief DJ Koh has confirmed that the Korean company is planning to launch it sometime “next year.” Now a new Galaxy X concept has surfaced that offers an interesting take on the upcoming smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy X Concept
Image Source: Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

How realistic is this Galaxy X concept?

The Galaxy X has the potential to give the smartphone industry a new dimension. The concept comes from the YouTube channel Concept Creator (via Android Headlines). The device has a bezel-less Infinity display with no physical home button. The concept still has tiny bezels at the top and bottom. Its most interesting feature is the sliding rear panel. The back of the device slides in and out to hide or reveal its front-firing speakers and the selfie camera.

The front-firing speakers would enhance the audio experience. This Galaxy X concept has vertically arranged dual cameras on the rear panel. Next to the dual camera setup is a dual LED, dual-tone flash. The dual camera is flush with the rear panel. Concept Creator has placed the fingerprint sensor under the display. Consumers haven’t responded well to the Galaxy S8 and Note 8’s rear-mounted fingerprint reader.

Samsung has been working on the in-display fingerprint technology for years, but it is unlikely to arrive until the second half of 2018. According to KGI Securities, Samsung would first include the optical fingerprint solution on the Galaxy Note 9. The Galaxy X concept looks sleek with sharp corners and slide-out mechanism for the camera and speakers. However, the real phone might not look like this.

Samsung’s patent sheds light on the Galaxy X design

The Galaxy X is supposed to be a phone that folds in the middle. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) recently granted Samsung a patent that sheds light on the phone’s design. The patent was filed way back in 2016. According to the patent documentation, the device will not have a continuous folding display. Instead, it will have two screens attached to a hinge in the center.

Samsung Galaxy X Interface
Image Source: Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) / Samsung (screenshot)

Each of the two screens will have its own menu, home screen, and app switcher. It means each screen will run its own app in both the portrait and landscape modes. It also has an app-pairing feature that would let you take advantage of the split-screen functionality by running two apps simultaneously on the foldable phone. Samsung’s patent also described several use cases where the two screens would work together to deliver a unique user experience.

For instance, one screen could show you the list of contacts while another would display a specific person’s contact card. If you are playing games, it could serve the touchscreen controls on one screen and the gaming content on another. Samsung could also use the two screens to show the main camera viewfinder on one screen and the front camera viewfinder on the second screen.

If you want, you could fold the phone to have one screen on the back and another on the front. You’ll be able to perform all the tasks using either screen. Once folded, the phone will easily fit into your pocket. Android does not natively support this mode. So, Samsung might build a custom interface for the Galaxy X. We can expect the device to go on sale sometime next year.

The Korean Communication Commission (KCC) has already certified the Galaxy X with model number SM-G888N0. The “N0′ in the model number suggests that it is the South Korean version of the foldable phone. The same model number had received Bluetooth certification from the Bluetooth SIG in July. It has also been spotted on the WiFi Alliance platform. The phone’s appearance on different regulatory sites has sparked speculations that the Galaxy X launch is approaching.

Galaxy X release date

The Galaxy X development has been going on for years under the Project Valley. Even though Samsung plans to release the phone next year, DJ Koh has warned that technical issues could delay its launch. If Samsung manages to launch it in 2018, it would be interesting to see how Samsung balances its release with the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones. The Galaxy S is refreshed in March/April, and the Note is refreshed in August/September. Bringing the Galaxy X closer to any of these handsets would affect their sales.

Samsung could initially launch the Galaxy X exclusively in the South Korean market to gauge the consumer response, and then launch it in other countries in 2019 or 2020.