Galaxy F: Release Date, Price, and Specs for Samsung's New Foldable Phone

After five years its time has come.

Samsung could drop as many as five new smartphones in February, each of which is expected to reinvent the way smartphones screens have been designed for years. The most audacious of these reinventions is the Galaxy F foldable phone, which, if popular, could provide the template for the next generation of smartphone concepts.

The Korean tech giant first teased the concept of a smartphone booklet at CES 2013. Five years later, it showcased a prototype of the foreshadowed device during its November 2018 developer’s conference. It didn’t look anywhere near as sleek as it was portrayed at the tech trade show half a decade ago, but it delivered on its biggest promise: Providing a tablet-sized display that can can be folded up and placed in your pocket like a smartphone.

Samsung’s sprint to get its Galaxy F to market prompted a flood of patents, rumors, and renders of other foldable phone concepts from its competitors. Motorola, LG, Huawei, and even Apple have been said to be cooking up their own riffs on a flexible display. Some unfurl like scrolls and others can be folded like a brochure. All of them seem likely serve as two-in-one tablet and smartphone, though Samsung’s will likely be the first big hardware maker to show the world what it’s capable of.

The Galaxy F will pack an extra screen and pack features that seem targeted to on-the-go multitaskers. Samsung said it’ll be able to run three apps side-by-side using a feature dubbed “multi-active window.” It will be collaborating with Google to develop Android software specifically for foldable phones, which will most likely power all other flexible devices after it (besides Apple of course).

Here’s everything you need to know about the game-changing Galaxy F:

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Samsung's newly uploaded profile photo ahead of its developer conference. 

Samsung Galaxy F Launch Date

The Galaxy F could debut as early as February, the same day Samsung’s new line of S10 smartphones are set to launch. A Wall Street Journal report suggested that the company might also have plans to unveil its foldable phone during its S10 events in San Francisco and London. That lines up perfectly with what Samsung’s SVP of mobile product marketing, Justin Denison, said during the November developer’s conference.

“We hope we’ve inspired you until the next UNPACKED where you’ll see more of this technology in action,” he said.

Could this be yet another teaser or a full-fletch launch? Only February 20 will tell.

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The foldable phone when it is closed.

Samsung Galaxy F Price

The Galaxy F might be a tablet you can fold into a smartphone, but it might cost as much as a state-of-the-art laptop. Once it hits shelves it could run consumers anywhere from $1,900 to $2,500, according to an anonymous tipster interviewed by Gizmodo. This is new heights for its forecasted price.

That would potentially add another $130 or even $730 to its already astronomical price tag. The Yonhap report says the device could cost as much as $1,770 and that Samsung will aim to ship 1 million of them.

The Galaxy F was never expected to be cheap. An anonymous Samsung official told Reuters: “Unlike our flagship products,” the source told the wire service, “the foldable phone is a completely new concept in terms of design and user experience, which requires a different approach.” Usually when companies roll out trend-setting features, they come at a hefty cost.

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Possible dimensions of the two screens.

Expect a slight departure in the pricing strategy. Currently, Samsung’s most expensive flagship — the Galaxy Note 9 — starts at $999. It’s possible the company could make a play for rapid growth by trying for an accessible price point, but more likely the new phone will be priced higher since there aren’t any formidable competitors.

The competitors that Samsung does have, however, are also pricing high. A lesser-known company called the Royole Corporation recently debuted its take on the foldable phone, the FlexPai, on October 31 that starts at 8,999 Chinese yuan (roughly $1,300). It was a little bit janky, and Royole isn’t a big name, so it seems reasonable to presume that Samsung’s foldable phone could cost even more.

What Will Samsung’s Foldable Phone Be Called?

The same WSJ report that hinted at its release date, also revealed what Samsung was thinking about called its foldable smartphone.

“Galaxy F”, “Galaxy Fold”, and “Fold” are all on the table, but Galaxy F seems most likely if Samsung’s other launches are a hint. The company named a majority of its other phone lines with different letters after the “Galaxy” monicker, like the Galaxy S Series and the Galaxy A Series.

What Carriers Will the Samsung Foldable Phone be Available On?

Not only could it be incredibly expensive, but it could be a hassle to get anywhere other than the U.K.

A recent Gizmodo report states that the Galaxy F might only be available on the British mobile network, EE. That means that everyone else would need to purchase an unlocked version of the device and slide in their own SIM card.

There’s hasn’t been word about carrier deals in the United States at the time of writing.

Samsung Galaxy F Design Specs

Blueprints of the device have begun making the rounds online and they look like Samsung has glued three displays together. The United States Patent and Trademark Office published blueprints the Galaxy F on November 15 revealing that it would fold up a lot like a brochure.

Instead of opening up like a booklet, the sketches display a device that can be opened twice. Once to reveal what appears to be the camera and a second time to turn it into a tablet.

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galaxy foldable phone samsung
galaxy foldable phone samsung
samsung foldable galaxy phone
samsung foldable galaxy phone

Its cover display has been said to be 4.58-inches and its tablet display 7.3-inches. The bottom edge of the blueprints shows the outline of a USB Type C charging port and a headphone jack.

To give people a better, less confusing visual, the Dutch Blog LetsGoDigital translated these mockups into a few 3D renders. The results were stunning, and much sleeker than what Denison held up on stage.

Samsung Galaxy F: Will Its Screen Be OLED?

Denison explained that these new smartphone booklets needed to completely overhaul previous display designs.

Instead of a glass outer layer, the foldable phone will use an “advanced composite polymer that is both flexible and tough,” he said. This will be complemented by a “foldable adhesive” that would allow the display to be folded “hundreds of thousands of times” without warping or cracking.

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A breakdown of the polymer that will coat the foldable screen's display.

Will the Samsung Foldable Phone Have a Notch?

While notches were a big trend for this year’s smartphone launches, one likely won’t be included with the Foldable Phone for two reasons.

First, Samsung has avoided the notch like the plague. All of its launches this year have been notch-less, so there’s really no reason to believe its foldable phone will include one.

Secondly, notches are typically used to house of front-facing cameras or facial recognition hardware, like Apple’s Face ID sensors. Since the Galaxy F will completely rework traditional smartphone design, all of these components could be situated in a whole new way.

We’ll have to wait and find out.

Media via Samsung, LetsGoDigital, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office