After going through a slight redesign, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is set to launch soon. It’s the company’s first smartphone with a foldable display, allowing you to use a single device either as a phone or tablet.
But according to Bloomberg, Samsung’s next foldable may be something a little different.
Instead of a phone-shaped device that unfolded to reveal a tablet-sized screen, the new phone is said to feature a 6.7 inch display and a clamshell-style design that allows you to fold the phone so that it “shrinks to a pocketable square.”
Among other things, Bloomberg says the new design will allow Samsung to offer a phone with fancy features (like a foldable display) without charging astronomical prices (the Galaxy Fold costs nearly $2000).
I can see the appeal of this approach: smartphone display sizes have crept upward in recent years, blurring the lines between a big phone and a small tablet. Meanwhile, device makers have slimmed display bezels about as much as they could, which means that if you want a large-screen device that’s still pocket-sized, you may have to look for other ways to reduce the size… like offering foldable designs.
But the success or failure of this approach will likely depend on just how much of a premium Samsung (or other phone makers) charge for clamshell-style foldables.
While the Samsung Galaxy Fold offers new ways to use a phone/tablet hybrid thanks to variable display sizes, it sounds like this clamshell-style phone will really just be a phone when you use it and a… smaller thing when you’re not using it. I might be willing to pay a few bucks extra for that if the crease in the display isn’t too visible. But I’m not sure I’d spend hundreds of dollars for the folding feature.