Samsung’s new Galaxy F smartphone with a foldable form factor and a display that actually folds in half is the talk of the town right now. That makes sense, of course, since Samsung just unveiled its new One UI during its SDC 2018 keynote presentation yesterday. The revamped interface looks a great deal like the “Samsung Experience” interface that’s already found on all of Samsung’s phones, but it has some key tweaks that make it more usable on a larger display. You know, like the foldable 7.3-inch OLED panel that will be found on the Galaxy F once it launches next year.
It obviously makes sense that there’s plenty of hype surrounding the Galaxy F. 2018 has been perhaps the most boring year on record at the top of Samsung’s smartphone lineup, so people are excited to see something new from the company. As we’re sure you’ll all recall, the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, and Galaxy Note 9 were all essentially carbon copies of their predecessors, but with minor specs bumps.
But as we said in our preview before Samsung’s new foldable phone was teased at SDC, the first-generation Galaxy F isn’t going to be terribly exciting in real life. Once you get past the novelty of a folding tablet, the thickness, massive bezels, and peculiar aspect ratio are going to get tiresome very quickly. Thankfully though, yesterday’s keynote may have been hiding a bit of news surrounding a different new Samsung flagship that will launch next year, and this new phone actually will live up to the hype.
Remember the first-generation Galaxy Note? It was awful, even back then. The hardware was cheap and plasticky, performance was terrible compared to Apple’s iPhone at the time, and the interface was so buggy and jittery that it was painful to use. But it because clear that people wanted smartphones with larger displays, so Samsung kept investing in the Galaxy Note line and kept refining it with each new iteration. Now, the Galaxy Note 9 is a fantastic device in terms of both hardware and performance.
We expect the Galaxy F to follow the same pattern. The first-generation model will likely feature a design that’s reminiscent of smartphones from four or five years ago. It’ll have huge bezels around the folding display and the outside display, and it’ll be annoyingly thick even when unfolded. As we saw in the demos on stage at SDC 2018, it also looks like the UI is horribly slow when switching from the inner display to the outside display. That should improve by the time the phone is released, but there will undoubtedly still be lag and plenty of bugs in the software.
But if the first couple of Galaxy F generations garner enough interest, Samsung and other companies will begin to invest heavily in foldable phones. Technology will improve, hardware will get thinner, bezels will shrink, and software will get faster and smoother. It’s the same exact thing we saw happen to phablets like the Galaxy Note.
In the meantime, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 is a smartphone that actually will live up to the hype. It’ll deliver the overhauled all-screen design Samsung fans have been waiting for, a tiny hole in the screen for the front-facing camera instead of a big notch, as well as plenty of new tech like an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and as many as five cameras on the plus sized version.
Plenty of Galaxy S10 specs have already leaked, but yesterday’s SDC 2018 keynote apparently gave us one more tidbit that was hidden in Samsung’s presentation. Top Samsung insider Ice Universe let the cat out of the bag on Twitter.
He positions the tweet as a mere suggestion, but Ice Universe has plenty of inside info and has talked about Galaxy S10 colors before. A UI that can change color to match the phone is a nifty little feature, and it looks like the colors above are the ones we can expect when Samsung finally takes the wraps off of its new Galaxy S10 lineup early next year.
Samsung is expected to unveil its new Galaxy S10 phones during the MWC 2019 conference in Barcelona this coming February. That’s more than three months away, and we can look forward to plenty of leaks between now and then.