Samsung Galaxy X folding phone shown at CES 2019

Select people reportedly given sneak preview of handset ahead of official release

Samsung Galaxy X CES 2019
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung's highly anticipated folding phone – the Samsung Galaxy X – has made an appearance at CES 2019... but not on the main floor.

That tantalising snippet of info comes to us from Korean news outlet The Investor, which reports that the handset, which will be available to buy within the next few months, was shown to "client companies" visiting Samsung's booth at the Las Vegas show.

The report goes on to quote a "high-level executive" from one of Samsung's clients, who says that the firm is currently polishing the optimisation processes for the phone's hardware and software.

"When unfolded, Samsung’s foldable phone does not show any crease indicating it had been bent," the exec is quoted as saying. "However, completely folding the device will lead to breakage. For this reason, Samsung is testing the device so that the sides remain slightly lifted when folded. The prototype seen today leaves a crease mark when being folded, but this issue will be fixed in the finalised version."

That these meetings took place tallies with whispers we've heard at previous CES events. Since Samsung traditionally announces its Galaxy S flagship smartphones at MWC in Barcelona each spring, each CES is usually accompanied with reports that Samsung is quietly showing the new Galaxy to carriers ahead of the official spring unveiling. CES is a trade show, after all.

Samsung's prototype folding phone making its first public appearance in November 2018

For the Samsung Galaxy X to also be shown to such a group at CES this year fits well with the expected timeline for the phone's release: when Samsung showed the prototype of the Galaxy X at its Developer Conference in San Francisco (see photo above) on November 7, 2018, Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Marketing at Samsung said the company would be "ready to start mass production in the coming months."

That suggests an on-sale date of March/April 2018 at the earliest, with an official public unveiling at a large event a few weeks before that. One such large event that happens to fall at a suitable time is MWC 2019, which runs from Monday 25 February to Thursday 28 February, so as well as showing off the Samsung Galaxy S10 at a launch event at the start of that show, it's quite likely that Samsung will also show the finished version of the folding Galaxy X, or Galaxy Fold as it may end up being called.

So with the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy X being just a couple of months away, our question would be why would Samsung NOT take a sample or two to the world's largest consumer technology trade show which is taking place right at this moment? And our other question is: Hey Samsung, can you show it to us as well as carriers and retailers?

Sadly, we fear this is as much as we'll get on the Galaxy X at CES. Don't expect any public on-stage launch, first looks or hands-on reviews. Unless one gets accidentally left in a bar.

Via Sammobile

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of and PetsRadar.