Future Samsung foldable device may have its display on the outside

Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung hasn’t even released the Samsung Galaxy Fold, its foldable smartphone that opens up into a tablet, yet there are already rumors and leaks surrounding the company’s plans for similar devices circulating. 

Previously we heard that Samsung has plans for two more devices with flexible screens, one of which is supposed to launch in late 2019 and another in 2020 – and patents discovered by Pocketnow from 2018 show what the former device could look like.

We’d already heard that the handset will be a clamshell foldable, which closes in on itself horizontally like a clamshell phone, as opposed to the Galaxy Fold, which has a vertical hinge; however the patents suggest something we weren’t expecting – it’s an outwardly folding device. This means, when closed, the display will be on the outside of the device rather than protected within.

That’s also a different design than the Galaxy Fold, which has a larger screen that is enclosed when the device is folded. The patent more closely resembles the Huawei Mate X, which has its display on the outside when closed. We’d expected Samsung’s foldables to all fold inwards like the Galaxy Fold, after Eui-suk Chung, executive-vice president of R&D at Samsung, said “users didn’t like [outfolding screens]”, but if this patent reflects the finished product that isn’t the case. 

Image credit: Pocketnow

Image credit: Pocketnow (Image credit: pocketnow)

Also visible in the patents is a latch, which keeps the device straight when folded out, and a sketch of the phone in its folded and open forms, which shows no bezels and an all-screen design similar to to that of the Galaxy S10 range of phones. 

The sketches show a very rough design with no ports, cameras, or perforations, so the patent is likely only intended to show a possible way Samsung’s second foldable phone could work, and any future device could look very different.

Samsung is yet to release the Galaxy Fold, so we don’t expect to hear official word on its successors for some while – we’ll keep you updated with the latest rumors and leaks as they happen.

Tom Bedford

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.