This news comes from a display patent, recently won by Samsung and spotted by PatentlyMobile, which shows a bending smartphone with a big hinge in the middle, but also a stylus (referred to as a 'Touch Pen' here), and a 'pen receiver' to dock the stylus.
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What does the Samsung patent show?
It seems that this patent could be for a future Galaxy Note phone, thanks to the presence of the S Pen. There are some intriguing elements regarding the stylus we haven't seen in a Note phone before though, including a docking system that hides the stylus when you insert it into the phone, for a more seamless appearance.
Samsung is clearly looking to improve on the flexible display of the Galaxy Fold too with some changes. The patent shows an 'elastic unit' which uses tensile force when the phone is completely open, to remove any fold marks or creases. There's also a 'restricting arm' which can lock the movable elements in place when you want the phone flat.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip's patent was granted eight months before the phone debuted, and at the time of writing there are five or six months until we're expecting to see the new Galaxy Note 20 devices, which seems like a tight margin for this to be the Note 20 - or any handset set to land alongside it, as the Galaxy Fold 2 is rumored to.
Saying that, this could simply be one of many potential designs Samsung is patenting, with other, previously-filed options ready to go for August when we'd expect to see the Note 20 range.
A foldable Samsung Galaxy Note 20 would be a truly intriguing device, as the phone could then be big enough to make the most of the S Pen stylus without being unwieldy (as it could be folded down).
We'll find out for sure what's planned for this range of Samsung phones in around August when we're expecting the devices to be revealed.
- There are lots of foldable phones coming
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.