When the Samsung Galaxy Fold landed in the hands of reviewers earlier this year, those testers quickly spotted and reported on a range of reliability issues and kinks, and the result was that the official launch got a last-minute delay. That pause has now stretched to more than five months, with a final retail release date still yet to be confirmed.
Despite this, we’re already starting to hear whispers about a potential Fold successor, with a series of earlier patents potentially uncovering the design of a future Samsung foldable device, and a new a report today from Bloomberg that seems to confirm one of these designs.
Specifically, the report claims that the next foldable Galaxy device from Samsung (tentatively titled the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2) will fold in half vertically rather than horizontally, with a 6.7-inch display protected on the interior (clamshell-style), leaving a square device that’s half the size and considerably more pocketable.
The Bloomberg article lends more weight to the recently-discovered patent (shown above) that depicts a crease running horizontally across the device, and an external display on half of the exterior – when folded clamshell-style, the other half would be home to the primary camera array.
While the handset in this patent wouldn’t strictly resemble a square when folded, the external display itself is much closer to a 1-to-1 aspect ratio than typical smartphone displays.
A particularly techy pocket square
Other details that Bloomberg has garnered from “people familiar with the product’s development” include an early-2020 announcement that will depend largely on the performance of the first Galaxy Fold.
The report also mentions that Samsung is aiming to make the Galaxy Fold 2 thinner and more affordable than its predecessor. It will also apparently feature a hole-punch selfie camera (akin to the existing Galaxy Note 10 range) and a dual-camera rear display (which is somewhat at odds with the aforementioned patent).
While there's no doubt that cutting-edge tech like this is generally considered to be a premium item, Bloomberg claims that the Fold 2 is being made in collaboration with American clothing designer Thom Browne and is aimed at those "more interested in fashion, status, and luxury than a device's tech specs".
Of the existing and upcoming foldable smartphone designs, this vertical clamshell approach comes close to only one currently-rumored design – the Motorola Razr V4, which is purported to be a foldable reboot of the iconic clamshell that kicked things off in 2004.
None of the Galaxy Fold 2 details are concrete at this point of course – in fact, it’s possible we’re seeing details on multiple handsets – and we’re unlikely to get any official confirmation on the Fold’s successor until the original unit at least hits the market.