We’ve all heard about foldable phones before. They promise to be a big thing in a small (ish) package. So far, nobody has been able to get them to work properly. By that, we mean that such devices must have a seamless experience where the screen doesn’t have a noticeable line and can’t break after repeated opening and closing. Apparently, Samsung is the closest. Last week, it launched what it dubbed the Infinity Flex phone. Is this really the next evolution of the smartphone, or is it going to be another gimmick?
The smartphone has been pretty stagnant in terms of form factor. After all, how many different ways can you cook up a screen on a rectangle? Apart from tweaks to aspect ratios and notches, there really hasn’t been much else. The innovation has all been happening inside, in software or in ever more capable hardware.
But we all want a bigger screen. We can certainly do more or see better on them. The Infinity Flex by Samsung promises this. However, at its launch event, Samsung played a straight bat. The room darkened and we only ever get a glimpse of the device itself. It appears to be thicker and have the same form factor as a normal phone with a screen on one side. However, open the device out and another much bigger screen magically appears. It looks like a pretty cool thing to have and use.
However the launch revealed very few technical details on the Infinity Flex. We don’t really know what powers it underneath, the true screen size and resolution or the battery life. Most importantly, the price of the Infinity Flex wasn’t disclosed. However estimates on how much such a unique device would cost somewhere in the US$1,700 range if not more. It might also lose the Infinity Flex name and gain a Galaxy moniker.
How Samsung’s flexible screen phone adventure pans out will be anyone’s guess at this point. It might be that the market is screaming out for a new gimmick that Samsung can fullfil. Or it might be priced so high that the device falls flat on arrival. We might find out sooner rather than later.