Samsung is reportedly testing two prototypes of its foldable smartphone, which is expected to launch next year.
According to a Bloomberg report, which cites people familiar with the matter, the foldable-screen device has the code-name “Winner” and has been under work for years. Previous reports have pegged that the phone could ultimately launch as the Galaxy X. Samsung has in the past shown flexible displays for smartphones, though these were all prototypes.
Samsung is debating between two prototypes with one that is horizontally long and the other which is vertically longer when unfolded. Both the models open from side to side, however, the landscape model has fallen out of favor as some designers felt the ‘portrait type’ to be easier to handle with one hand, the report cited.
Bloomberg reports that due to technical difficulties, the foldable-display device might not feature a fingerprint sensor. However, the device is expected to include a four-inch screen on the outside to perform basic tasks like browsing emails, texts without the need of flipping it to open.
The prototype design is said to be similar to Motorola Razr with screen opening with a snap. As per the report, the display is coated with a film that is basically used in photography. The device has passed internal tests of folding more than ‘2,00,000 times,’ however, the questions are still raised regarding its yield rate in mass production.
Besides the display, the Bloomberg report also shares some insight about the device software, which could be a ‘special version’ of Android OS. The user interface is expected to heavily depend on which of the two of designs the company finalise.
Samsung could likely reduce battery size on the phone to make it lighter. The company might not introduce its foldable-screen phone until the second quarter next year, the report added.
The foldable phone won’t be the only major launch from Samsung in 2019. The Galaxy S10 is expected to come with an in-display fingerprint sensor and include chipset with a dedicated AI unit. According to Bloomberg, Samsung is said to be in talks with US mobile retailer, Verizon Communications to unveil Galaxy S10 with a fifth-generation wireless chipset in the US.
The standard Galaxy S10 edition is said to feature an OLED panel, however, the cheaper model is said to lack the signature curved edge display. Samsung is widely anticipated to launch three models of its flagship Galaxy S10 next year.