We’re about a month away now from Samsung’s first attempt at a foldable phone hitting the market, with the $1,980 Galaxy Fold set for an April release after months of hype and speculation about what exactly a foldable handset will mean for the smartphone market. Not to mention how it will be received by consumers. As we said last week, though, Samsung isn’t exactly waiting around for those reactions to start rolling in before the company figures out where to take its foldable phone ambitions next. Samsung has also got two more foldable phones being teed up to follow the Galaxy Fold, one of which includes a clamshell design — the patent details for which have just emerged. Which gives us, in effect, what could be our first look at a device we may end up calling the Galaxy Fold 2.
The above drawings give an indication of what’s being considered for this upcoming foldable. The details come via Dutch tech blog LetsGoDigital, which reports that the plan is for a foldable device with the display on the outside — which stands in contrast to the Galaxy Fold and its interior display that folds closed like a book.
According to the patent details, this next foldable also consists of two housing parts held together by a hinge. Additionally, there’s a lock on the back that can be moved into position to keep the phone locked close, which presumably means you won’t have to worry about this device accidentally unfolding open.
What Samsung appears to be considering in terms of the display arguably represents an unusual setup for a clamshell phone, where you’d expect to see the display on the inside of the device so as to better protect it from scratches and other irritants. But perhaps this can be explained as Samsung taking an experimental approach, trying a few different variations on the foldable theme before it decides what will be the most well-received — or at least what will be the best-received of the different variants Samsung is prepping for release.
Among the details that aren’t clear from this new patent documentation is how many cameras this phone will have. What we do know, though, is that in addition to this new clamshell design the Galaxy Fold, of course, is up first, with a release that’s just a few weeks away. We also know, thanks to reporting from Bloomberg, that Samsung is preparing this clamshell foldable for release sometime between later this year and 2020.
Samsung is also working on what sounds like a phablet similar to the Huawei Mate X that features a larger exterior screen and includes a vertical, book-style fold. It would hit the market sometime after this second foldable phone arrives.