Though Samsung is planning a traditional follow-up to their Galaxy Fold, they haven’t waited to try out other form factors. Much like the Motorola Razr, Samsung is planning to launch a foldable clamshell device in 2020 that will allow for a standard smartphone-sized display to shrink in size, rather than a standard smartphone that opens into a tablet. Based on rumors surrounding the phone, we expect to see this device launched prior to the other Galaxy Fold we highlighted above, sometime in the first half of 2019. Some leaks have even pointed to a specific date—February 18th, to be exact—which would make sense, since that date is right before Mobile World Congress kicks off on February 24th. Regardless, if you’re ready to see the newest foldable from Samsung, this is the one you should be looking at—not the other Fold device we already covered.
We actually know a little bit more about this clamshell device than the other Galaxy Fold, thanks to rumors from the likes of SamMobile and the Korean Herald. First and foremost, the rumored price is far less than the original Galaxy Fold’s $1,980. In fact, this clamshell Fold might go for less than $1,000 USD, a major price drop compared to the original phone. That brings up some serious questions of course—most notably, what was sacrificed to achieve this lower price? After all, the Motorola Razr is a clamshell foldable phone selling for $1,499, and that device uses a mid-range processor. Will Samsung’s device follow suit, or will Samsung be able to manufacturer a full flagship device powered by a Snapdragon 865 that runs users less than a grand at launch? We’ll have to wait to find out.
In the meantime, we know a couple of other things about this device. Like the other Galaxy Fold, this clamshell device is rumored to use the same ultra-thin glass Samsung recently filed trademarks for. That should help keep both displays from being easily scratched through regular use. We’re also pretty sure the device will come in some new colors, including standard black and white and, new for 2020, purple. As is standard with Samsung phones, we expect to see even more leaks throughout the next couple months leading up to the device’s official launch, but until then, we’ll just have to sit back and imagine the new clamshell Fold.
Update, 12/19: Just days after first publishing this post, we’ve learned new information about Samsung’s upcoming clamshell phone, along with a brand-new look at the device outside of renders produced by the company. It’s unclear whether this is confirmed, but leaks have emerged directly from Weibo, the popular Chinese microblogging site. Ice Universe, a popular and successful leaker, supplied the photos to English-speaking readers via Twitter, and if the leaks are accurate, we’re looking at something resembling the upcoming phone.
When closed, the device appears to be completely square, with a small display along the bottom of the phone showing the time. Presumably, the display on the front of the phone is larger than this simple clock, though it’s unclear based on these leaks. To the right of the clock is the dual-camera module, a far cry from the four lenses we expect to see on the Galaxy S11. With Samsung trying to get their foldable clamshell under $1,000, however, this makes sense.
On the inside is a standard looking tall, rectangular display, lacking the angles and large notch cut-out of Motorola’s Razr. Like Samsung’s most recent phones, a small hole punch cutout sits at the top of the phone’s display. When fully open, it’s basically impossible to tell the phone folds in half along the middle of the display. Instead, it looks like any number of Samsung’s phones from the last several years, albeit with larger bezels around the outside of the screen.
As with any leak, you should expect for things to change between the device shown in these photos and the actual version rumored to be unveiled in February. Still, considering how similar the device looks to Samsung’s own teaser, it seems clear that this is our best look at the phone yet.