Culture

Samsung Has A Foldable Smartphone, But Also Why?

Samsung have unveiled a working prototype of their Infinity Flex display and it's kinda weird TBH.

I’ve owned a mobile phone for well over a decade by this point and you know what I’ve never once thought to myself whilst scrolling through the three apps that for some reason control my life? “Man I wish I could just fold this bad boy straight in half”.

Well, it turns out I’m a huge idiot who doesn’t understand tech apparently, as foldable screen technology looks to finally be here much to the excitement of people who aren’t me!

Samsung has unveiled its first workable prototype of a foldable device they’ve named the Infinity Flex at its 2018 developer conference in San Francisco and it appears to be both a phone AND a tablet. You can see the transition between the two in the vid below:

Samsung has had to pretty much invent a whole bunch of new technologies to enable the folding device, including a new type of polymer that is soft enough to be folded but still firm enough to act like a regular old touchscreen. The Goldilocks of polymers, if you will.

Once folded out the device acts as a 7.3-inch tablet, an odd size for that kind of thing and again illuminating the question of who exactly is this type of tech for?

I suppose the end-game is a phone about the dimensions of current top-line devices, that also can be folded out to become a small-ish tablet, minimising the need to carry around both. This iteration, however, appears to still be super chunky and the 7.3-inch size of the tablet form isn’t really enough extra screen space to enable the kind of tasks you’d use say an iPad for.

Sure this is merely a prototype, but with Google Android on board in a huge way (see below) and Samsung announcing it will release a version sometime next year, I’m not sure how much further it will evolve before hitting a market that simply won’t know what to do with it.

Then again, what do I know, I’m just some jerk on the internet!

Personally, I’d like to see the mobile phone industry start looking into bringing those old side-kick flip phones back. If it’s good enough for Sandy Cohen, it’s good enough for me!