Samsung like several other technology companies files several patents a year but a particular patent shows that the company might be one of the first companies to bring back the fold-out form factor in phones.
Sliders, fold-outs, multiple-displays and flaps were in fashion when phones underwent the smart reveloution but slowly all of them were replaced with the standard slim, brick format due to several technical and consumer reasons such as ease of use, ease of carrying and fitting more powerful chipsets or making the phone more compact.
However, consumers are now looking to break free from the brick form factor of phones and Samsung wants to ride that wave to gain more marketshare as the smartphone sector battle intensifies.
For the fold-out smartphone, the patent shows a single-edged affair resembling a Galaxy Note Edge, but mirrored; the design wraps around to a screen on the back, and the whole thing can be unfolded to look somewhat similar to a Galaxy Tab S2. The new designs on the more casual side of the spectrum consist of a phone that’s edged on both sides, and an edged design that apes the Galaxy S5 Neo around back. Curiously, both would mark a return to the vertically aligned camera and heart rate sensor that Samsung mostly left behind with the Galaxy S6.
Going into a bit of detail on the foldable design, One can see a home button as the marker at the front of the device. The hinge, and thus the edge, is on the right side. Rather than unfurling like a book and having a bigger screen on the inside, the front panel ties in to the one around back and forms a tablet when the device is folded out.
Since this is only a patent sketch, it’s hard to say what functionality the back of the device would serve when the whole thing is folded, aside from being where the design’s lone camera sits. This means that selfies would use the back screen, and video chats would likely be best in tablet mode.