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Samsung’s first multi-foldable device might come sooner than expected

Published Sep 4th, 2021 4:09PM EDT
Samsung Foldable
Image: Samsung

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 are performing well, but Samsung is already teasing other even more experimental foldable devices. Just a few days ago, we learned that Samsung’s 17-inch foldable laptop that the company teased back in May might turn out to be a real product. An insider leaked the Galaxy Book Fold 17’s product name. This finding suggests Samsung is already working on a commercial version of the concept. But just days before that, Samsung was demoing a prototype of a multi-foldable device it calls Flex In & Out (seen above). We saw this concept only a few months ago when Samsung unveiled the S-Foldable screen.

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Samsung S-Foldable display

Back in mid-May, Samsung attended SID, unveiling the following dual-folding device. As seen in the image below, the S-Foldable handset features three display parts and two hinges. It folds like the letter “S,” hence the name.

Samsung-Display_S-Foldable
Samsung’s S-Foldable display in action. Image source: Samsung Display

Samsung demoed the nameless 17-inch folding laptop at the same event. But the company used the same video where the S-Foldable screen is present.

Also, in the video, there’s a rollable Samsung display concept. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether any of these foldable screen concepts will make it into commercial products.

Here’s how Samsung described the S-Foldable display in its SID 2021 announcement:

A multi-foldable mobile display that maxes out at 7.2 inches but can be folded twice—both in and out—to be as small as a regular-sized smartphone.

Samsung Flex In & Out

This brings us to the 21st International Meeting on Information Display (IMID 2021) event that took place in Korea a few days ago. That’s where Samsung produced the following video. The clip focuses solely on a device that looks a lot like the Samsung multi-fold screen from SID 2021. But Samsung used the display event to demo its Flex In & Out multi-foldable OLED display.

From the looks of it, the Flex In & Out might be the new name of the multi-foldable screen tech that Samsung is developing. It wouldn’t be surprising for Samsung to sell Flex In & Out displays to other vendors. Just like the Infinity Flex panel in the Galaxy Z fold 3 might equip other non-Samsung foldables this year.

That said, it seems that the Samsung S-Foldable screen and the Flex In & Out screen are identical. Both of them have the same size, 7.2-inch, and fold similarly. And they feature identical designs, complete with the transparent portion on the right side.

Samsung Flex In & Out
Samsung Flex In & Out multi-foldable display. Image source: Samsung

Given that Samsung is at the forefront of foldable device innovation, a title it will likely want to retain for as long as possible, it’s probably only a matter of time until we see a multi-fold Galaxy Fold variant in stores. Samsung’s IMID 2021 presentation makes it clear that Samsung has big plans for the technology.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.