Not content with sitting high atop the Android marketplace, a recent report has suggested that the smartphone giant, Samsung, is readying a whopping five flagships to cement its unwavering dominance in 2017.
While the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Edge, Galaxy Note 7 and Note 7 Edge are all presumed to be among the quintet, the rumour mill is strongly pointing towards the fifth and final spot being taken by the Samsung Galaxy X – the result of the South Korean company's experiments with foldable tech.
Here's what we know so far about the bendy wonder – code named Project Valley:
Samsung Galaxy X: Price
Details on the possible retail price for the Galaxy X are somewhere between scarce and non-existent at present.
That being said, if you do a bit of educated estimation it is possible to imagine the ballpark figure we'll be dealing with come release. With the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge currently selling at £639 for the 32GB base model, the Galaxy X, sporting its swanky new design and breakthrough tech, will surely sport a higher price tag than its curved sibling.
Samsung Galaxy X: Release Date and Availability
Update: Initial rumours pointed toward a vague 2017 window, although this has now been thrown into question by comments from Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong Jin who noted "we need more time to provide meaningful innovations and convenience considering the current status of technology."
With the Galaxy S range traditionally launching in the spring, Samsung could choose to debut the Galaxy X at the same time however it seems more logical to wait for a quieter period and not dilute its potential impact.
What we may know however is where exactly the Galaxy X will launch. A report from Sammobile in November 2015 suggested that a handset carrying the model number SM-G929F (widely attributed to the Galaxy X) will arrive first in the following markets:
- BTU – UK
- CPW – UK (Carphone Warehouse)
- DBT – Germany
- ITV – Italy
- KOR - South Korea
- NEE – Nordic countries
- XEF – France
- XEO – Poland
- XEU – UK/Ireland
Notable by its absence from the list is the rather enormous US market, although this could be a trial list leaked by Sammobile's sources and is likely subject to change.
Samsung Galaxy X: Design
The most intriguing aspect of the Galaxy X is what exactly it will actually look like in the "flesh". After years of iterations of the same big-screen, rectangular devices, the prospect of a foldable, flexible flagship is an invigorating thought.
Samsung first touted its foldable display tech at CES 2013 with its OLED Youm display panels, but the suggestion of a retail-ready flexi-phone didn't pick up until 2015 with reports of a secretive internal project code named Project Valley.
Design clues for the Project Valley device emerged out of South Korea on 1 April 2016 as ETNews described the handset as "a new-concept product which can be a five-inch Smartphone and seven-inch tablet if opened," which suggests the Galaxy X could become the logical end-point of the "phablet" design (for some perspective, the iPad Mini range boasts a 7.9in screen).
A contradictory patent surfaced a month later on 31 May however which pictured a Galaxy-meets-flip-phone design based on a hinged form-factor (a similar patent design was circulated as far back as September 2015). While it certainly looks a little strange, a compact phone with a fold-out touchscreen could gain some traction for those with small pockets – although it is worth noting that a patent does not guarantee the design is actually in production.
Samsung Galaxy X: Display
Our first glance at Samsung's latest generation of rolling/folding displays came at the manufacturer's exhibit at SID Display Week 2016.
The below video from SlashGear was filmed at the expo in San Francisco and shows a 5.7in 1080p 386ppi OLED screen coiling via an automated arm. Measuring 0.3mm deep, reports from the show confirmed that the prototype did not offer touch capabilities however.
Reports suggest that the final build of the Galaxy X will in fact feature a higher spec screen with a 4K resolution "diamond PenTile sub-pixel arrangement". Samsung owns the IP for PenTile matrix display and has used the architecture in almost all of its recent Super AMOLED-sporting devices including the Galaxy S7 range.
Samsung Galaxy X: Specs and Features
While there are plenty of rumours concerning the Galaxy X's screen, the rest of its possible specs are up in the air.
Samsung's traditional TouchWiz interface will likely appear, while the 2017 launch schedule could result in the phone being run on the next version of Android – still going by the un-sweetie-fied moniker Android N.
Samsung could well plump for the next generation of Qualcomm processors – the Snapdragon 830 – to power its device, although we'll have to wait for future leaks before judging on the RAM and storage capacities, especially considering that the Note 6 (or should that be Note 7?) has had such wildly variable spec reports.
The main questions however lie in how a flexible device would tackle the traditional features we've become accustomed to. While bendable battery prototypes and Samsung's own flexible juice-packs for wearables suggest advances in that particular department, how exactly a MicroSD slot, possible waterproofing capabilities and even a camera module would fit on a mutable mobile are yet to be seen.
IBTimes UK will be adding to this article as more news about the Samsung Galaxy X as we get a clearer picture of the handset, so be sure to keep an eye out for any future updates.