Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was just released, it seems like Samsung has jumped the gun and listed a Galaxy X support page for the yet-unannounced phone.
The support page lists the model number SM-G888N0, a label that first popped up in July when listed as a “mobile phone” during certification by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. The label is widely believed to be the upcoming Samsung Galaxy X. That same model number has since been certified by South Korea’s National Radio Research Agency, indicating an impending release.
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Although the Galaxy X support page doesn’t give much information at all about the upcoming phone, the website LetsGoDigital came across a recently filed Samsung patent late last month that gives us a sneak peak into the design of the world’s first commercially available foldable phone.
The phone seems to fold in half completely, with each half of the display featuring different information — increasing the convenience and maximizing usability of the screen area. The Galaxy X may be the first foldable smartphone on the market, but it likely won’t be the last. The patent filed showed some neat situations in which the dual screen technology could be useful; users may be able to watch a video while still having access to their contacts, or play a game with half of the screen dedicated to controls.
The folded screen functions in both portrait and landscape mode, and each portion features its own homescreen and menus. From the information and diagrams included in the patent, it seems that Samsung’s intention with the Galaxy X is to have two screens connected by some sort of hinge rather than one continuous display. This allows you to either have the screens side by side, or to fold the phone completely and have one display on the front with the other on the back.
The patent for the phone was filed in 2016, so the accompanying photos seem to have the design of the S7, but it’s likely that Samsung will take big steps in terms of aesthetics and performance in addition to this cool new quirk. From the little information we have, it seems that the Galaxy X will be a third line that sells alongside the existing Galaxy S and Galaxy Note product families.
With Samsung potentially supporting three major flagships in the near future, there have been some concerns over whether they can obtain a sufficient amount of processor chips. Samsung has struggled in the past to keep their production at pace with demand for their products, and that issue could become more prominent with a new product family. As this is a brand new smartphone technology, there’s no telling how widespread adoption will be. If it’s anything like the demand for their S and Note lines, however, it may be difficult to get your hands on the X on day one.
Samsung Mobile President Koh Dong-Jin has previously mentioned that the company plans to launch a foldable smartphone in 2018, and the fact that there’s currently a Galaxy X support page may indicate that an announcement is forthcoming.
Whether foldable phones become mainstream or remain a niche product for tech enthusiasts remains to be seen, but if this breaking news is any indication, we may find out pretty soon.