We’re still a few weeks away from Samsung officially unveiling its new foldable phone, but it’s already sounding like it will be a significant improvement over the Galaxy Fold.
At least, if the latest rumors are any indication. While we’ve already heard that the phone, which will reportedly be called the Galaxy Z Flip, will have a clamshell design, we now know a bit more about how that folding screen will work. The new details come from XDA Developers’ Max Weinbach who reports the Z Flip will have the ability to “lock” at a 90-degree angle, which allows the bottom half of the phone to act as a kickstand. Apps, including the phone’s camera, will be able to take advantage of this orientation, which sounds particularly useful for video calls or watching short videos. Weinbach also says the Flip will reprise another notable feature from the original flip phone era: ending phone calls by folding it closed.
Notably, this is all a bit different than how Motorola’s Razr works. Though that phone also has a clamshell design, its hinge can’t “lock” in a 90-degree position. Instead, it uses a smaller, secondary screen you can use with some apps, like Google’s Duo, when the phone is folded up. The Z Flip, on the other hand, will use a single, reportedly 6.7-inch display that can adapt to two different orientations.Of course, these are all still unverified rumors for now, but the new details are in line with a concept the company previously teased at its developer conference last year. In the video, Samsung showed off how a phone with a clamshell design might be able to use a folding screen as the kind of kickstand Weinbach mentioned. The new rumors come just weeks ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event. In addition to the rumored Galaxy Z Flip, the company is expected to show off its next lineup of 5G-ready flagship phones, the Galaxy S20.
But it’s the Galaxy Z Flip that’s a bigger question mark. After last year’s bungled Galaxy Fold rollout, pressure will be intense for Samsung to show off a foldable phone that’s actually ready for the spotlight. Which makes the little we know about Z Flip all the more intriguing. While the Galaxy Fold’s design was thick and awkward — to say nothing of that crease — the Z Flip sounds like it could take advantage of its foldable screen in a way that actually makes sense.
And by using a clamshell design, Samsung will not only get to take advantage of flip phone nostalgia, it makes the phone a lot easier to handle. Instead of a device that’s awkwardly bulky and wide, you might actually be able to use it one-handed. Even so, there’s still a ton we don’t know, including the price or most of the specs. The good news is that we won’t have much longer to wait: Unpacked is Feb. 11. Now, we just have to hope that there’s no crease.