Samsung was so keen to be the first to market with a folding screen smartphone that it was met with disappointment with its first run of Galaxy Fold smartphones that failed in the hands of reviewers. Luckily for Samsung, no devices had actually been shipped to customers, so it went into re-engineering mode to deliver a much improved second revision. Now, Samsung is looking down the road to new form factors for folding devices, and at its developer conference this week, the company unveiled a fresh folding smartphone concept.
While the Galaxy Fold had a book-like hinge that allowed the device to fold in half, the new form factor is more akin to an old-school flip phone. Rather than folding like a book, this device is slightly wider than each half of the Galaxy Fold and folds lengthwise in the center.
The video offers no sound to let us know what Samsung is thinking, but shows some interesting ways the device can be used. It shows someone watching a video on the smartphone using the whole screen, then folding the top section of the screen up in an "L" shape. The video moves to the top section of the screen.
On the flat section of the phone are controls for the video. The upside to this form factor is that it is more compact, making it easier to fit into a pocket. We also wonder if the smaller hinge area would mean the device is more robust and less likely to be damaged. We do see that it still has a hinge that can't fold flat, leaving the smartphone fatter on one end than the other. The Galaxy Fold has this same sort of folding mechanism and it has been more robust after its redesign and relaunch in September. This new form factor is no doubt interesting, but the Galaxy Fold seems the more useful form factor to us.