There have been a lot of speculations about the Galaxy X release date. Some claimed Samsung would release its foldable phone in 2017, which didn’t happen. Other reports suggested that the phone could be unveiled towards the end of this year. That seems unlikely. Korean publication The Bell has learned from inside sources that Samsung is planning to release the Galaxy X in late February or early March of 2019.
If the report turns out to be true, the Galaxy X release date could be set for just before or just after the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event next year. The MWC 2019 will be held between February 25 and February 28 in Barcelona. The Korean company unveils its flagship devices around major trade shows, but likes to keep the floor to itself. So, we should expect the foldable phone to be unveiled right before or after the MWC.
Sources told The Bell that Samsung has also changed the Galaxy X’s code-name from “Valley” to “Winner.” Industry experts say the new code-name suggests the phone has moved beyond the development phase, and it won’t be a mere proof of concept. It’s the same phone that Samsung had showcased to a small group of investors and carrier partners at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year.
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If the Galaxy X release date is set for the MWC 2019, what would happen to Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy S10 flagship? The Galaxy S series is Samsung’s most successful smartphone. The Bell reports that the company could unveil the Galaxy S10 a couple of months earlier than usual at the CES in January 2019. There is a good chance Samsung would hold a standalone event for the Galaxy S10 around the CES.
Samsung’s plan to launch the Galaxy X around the same time as Galaxy S10 indicates that the company believes its foldable phone would be a game-changer. An earlier report from The Bell had claimed that Samsung would finalize the Galaxy X design by June, and would start producing foldable OLED panels later this year. The device itself is expected to enter mass production in November. The Galaxy X would require a new UI due to its design. It will likely run a heavily customized version of Android.
Samsung’s mobile business head DJ Koh has told media that the foldable phone would not be a mere proof of concept or a gimmick. It will be a useful, fully-functioning, and polished smartphone. The Bell claims the company would produce Galaxy X only in limited quantities in 2019 for sale in its home country. Samsung is expected to manufacture only 500,000 to 2 million units of the device next year. Depending on the consumer response, it would launch the foldable smartphone in other markets towards the end of 2019 or early 2020.
Remember that the Galaxy X and Galaxy S10 are two different devices. DJ Koh has indicated that Samsung could change the naming pattern with the Galaxy S9 successor, so don’t be surprised if the Galaxy S10 arrives under a new name. The S10 (or whatever it’s called at launch) is rumored to have an in-display fingerprint sensor and a 3D-sensing technology similar to Apple’s iPhone X for facial recognition.
The Galaxy X would have three OLED screens, each of them measuring 3.5 inches. Two of the screens will be on the inside that would face each other when the device is folded (similar to a book). The third screen will be on the outside to give you quick access to information even when the phone is folded. When the phone is unfolded, the two inner screens will create a larger 7-inch display. According to The Bell, the phone’s overall footprint will be similar to the Galaxy Note 8.
Not a lot is known about the Galaxy X at this point. The foldable smartphone is expected to feature a 3D facial scanner or an in-display fingerprint sensor for security. Samsung is set to introduce the in-display fingerprint reader with the Galaxy Note 9 later this year. The foldable device is expected to run a 7nm chip, support 5G connectivity, and come with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to take care of AI features.
Samsung trademarked the “Galaxy X” moniker in March 2017, and it has been working on the device for much longer. The foldable phone will likely be even more expensive than the Galaxy S and Note series because foldable screens are more difficult to manufacture. Huawei is also working on a foldable smartphone that it plans to release towards the end of this year. Huawei will reportedly source the OLED screens from LG Display.
The Galaxy X release date is roughly a year away. So, a lot – including its design – could change in the coming months. The rumors should be taken with a pinch of salt.