The first of a decade: Samsung showed a smart book with a flexible Infinity Flex screen

Photo: samsung_dev / youtube

After several years of development, Samsung has finally shown a prototype smartphone with a flexible screen. In the serial production of the conditional Galaxy F will only come in 2019. The presentation took place after demonstrating a similar novelty from the start-up Royole, other brands are developing flexible screens. Flexible smartphones can become a popular trend in the event of commercial success in the market.

Samsung Electronics unveiled a prototype of its first foldable folding smartphone for viewing that the company was developing with Google. The presentation took place at the annual developer conference (DSC 2018). Samsung also showed an updated interface for One UI smartphones, adapted, among other things, to flexible screens; Bixby voice assistant ecosystem and cloud platform for the Internet of SmartThings objects.

Samsung unveiled the most expensive Android smartphone – the flagship Galaxy Note 9

Samsung unveiled the most expensive Android smartphone – the flagship Galaxy Note 9

Smartphones with a flexible screen are still a prototype without a name, they can be previously called Galaxy X or Galaxy F. Also the price and the start of sales are not disclosed. The commercial launch of the device is scheduled for next year. Probably, the definitive version of the smartphone or tablet phone was announced in January at CES in Las Vegas or in February at the MWC in Barcelona.
Samsung passed the startup Royole for a few days, presenting the production version of its flexible smartphone. Similar developments are being carried out, in particular, Huawei, Lenovo and LG. However, Samsung plans to create various flexible displays in the future. In the case of a successful commercial launch, flexible smartphones could become a trend in the mobile phone market in 2019, but their high price could hinder the massive sales of such gadgets.

Tablet in your pocket

Presented at the presentation of the prototype works in two modes and, therefore, is equipped with two screens. In fact, Samsung has shown an improved hybrid of a smartphone and a tablet without bending on the screen of this last one. Once folded, it is a familiar smart, only longer and thicker: a 4.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1960×840 and an aspect ratio of 21: 9. When it is open, the smartphone turns into a tablet with 7.3-inch AMOLED display and a resolution of 2152×1536. The screen of a tablet is called the Infinity Flex Display.

Samsung Dong Jin Ko, president of Samsung Mobile, said that the development of a flexible smartphone lasted many years and proved "extremely difficult technically". The device is designed for hundreds of thousands of folding and opening cycles without any loss of display quality. To get the display to rewind, Samsung had to make the panel thinner than any other gadget. This was achieved by reducing the thickness of the display's polarizer. Here is 45% thinner than other smartphones.

Samsung's vice president of marketing, Justin Denison, said at the presentation that the gadget "will be the basis for smartphones of the future" and Infinity Flex screens are "the biggest breakthrough in mobile display technology in the last 10 years". The developer has emphasized that the production of the screen uses special composite, flexible and rigid polymers. Sources Engadge noted that the flexible display module Infinity Flex was designed for these purposes, a durable adhesive to fix the screen, as well as a protective layer with a special polymer that combines flexibility and strength.

It is noteworthy that Samsung at the beginning of the year showed two prototypes of flexible smartphones, one of them had a 7.3-inch screen folded inwards, and the second – outside one. Presented in November, the smartphone belongs to the first type, which originally provided more possibilities for early commercialization. Versions with a screen to external sources The Korea Herald also predicted mass production, but in the second generation.

Multiscreen book

The main advantage of a flexible smartphone, in addition to the transformation into a tablet, the developer has defined the simultaneous work technology on multiple screens Multiactive Window, adapted for a flexible display. Therefore, applications run on a small "side" screen will be automatically transferred to the main display with the ability to view and manage up to three active applications. The work of this mode will provide the user interface with a user interface, which Samsung has also presented to the presentation.

In addition to working with the Multiactive window, the interface allows you to enter information in an area, which may be important to the user, and to separate the content area from the control area. At the same time, the controls in a single user interface will be located at the bottom of the screen, so that it is easier to reach them on large smartphones, this applies to both single buttons and pop-up blocks with elements interactive. Samsung has already launched One UI open beta tests in Germany, Korea and the United States.

Simultaneously with Samsung's presentation in California, the Android Developer Summit conference was held, in which Google announced that the Android mobile operating system now supports folders and the Korean company became its first partner. Google's vice president of Android development, Dave Burke, told the presentation that the flexible screen serial smartphone will be released in 2019 and flexible display support will be available to all manufacturers of these gadgets.

Flexible competitor

The development of flexible displays Asian manufacturers say that in the last 5 years. Thus, in 2016, Lenovo showed a smart bracelet with a flexible screen, LG announced plans to release a smartphone with a flexible OLED display and a 65-inch TV that can be folded into a special unit, Microsoft released a patent and Huawei promised to release such a gadget in the year 2019. However, the first commercial product managed to present the American launch Royole (Rouyu).

At the Beijing conference, Royole Corporation presented the FlexPai flexible smartphone. The device features a 7.8-inch screen diagonal in the open state and, once folded, is divided into three screens: front, back and side. The AMOLED screen has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and is bent only in one direction, towards the outside, that is, Royole went according to the rejected Samsung script. At the same time, the external surface of the gadget is not symmetrical: on one side of the screen there is a large projection where two cameras are installed with a resolution of 20 and 16 megapixels, in addition to a flash.

Royole claims to have conducted a series of FlexPai screen tests before the presentation. In this way, the display has overcome more than 200 thousand tests of torsion and bending, as well as traction and other types of deformation at various angles. A separate test was the crash test: the AMOLED panel was released from different heights. In total, Royole conducted nearly 120 varieties of tests, which took almost 1,000 days.

In addition to the revolutionary screen, the developer introduced the top-quality stuffing – the latest QualcommSnapdragon processor of the 8-Series line, created using 7-nanometer process technology, supporting 5G networks, from 6 to 8 gigabytes of RAM and from 128 to 512 integrated, and in addition, a slot for MicroSD memory cards. The smartphone works on Anrdoid 9.0 with the firmware of the Royole Water operating system and the startup intends to invest 30 million dollars in the development of the operating system. Pre-order for FlexPai started on November 1st, the gadget is available at prices from $ 1,291 to $ 1,864, depending on the amount of RAM and internal memory.

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