Samsung demonstrates a phone whose screen folds in any direction

After patenting it three years ago, Samsung is demonstrating the first foldable phone whose screen folds both inward and outward.

Described as the first 360° foldable screen, the new design tests the versatility of both the mechanical hinge and the OLED screen, which must withstand a much more demanding usage regime involving dual-axis folding actions.

The secret seems to be a new hinge design that leaves more space for the folded screen, while shaping the unfolded screen into as flat a surface as possible. But Samsung’s innovation goes further than that, with the potential Galaxy Fold successor eliminating the need for a secondary screen. Thus, the main screen will simply fold in the opposite direction, resulting in a front-facing screen phone.

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The concept has also been demonstrated in the past by rival Xiaomi, with the Chinese manufacturer hinting at preparing a new variety of mobile phones. But technological limitations in 2020 have ruled out the foldable screen part, with the concept phone demonstrated by Xiaomi having a permanent folded front-facing screen. In contrast, the prototype demonstrated by Samsung is a true foldable, with no space left in the foldable area of the screen.

Presumably the new design concept will see commercial debut sometime in the next few years, with all rumors so far describing a Galaxy Z Fold 5 with an improved, but not radically different design. Thus the Z Fold 5 will have a design with no visible crease in folded mode, the phone appearing perfectly flat when kept in folded mode. In contrast, the 360° foldable screen will remain just a future project for Samsung, for now.

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