If you think of foldable phones – specifically flip phones – you've probably got a fairly good idea in your head of what they look like. Broadly speaking, you're probably picturing a device with a cover display and a larger internal screen.
That's the form which top flip phones – like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 or the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra – have taken since the industry was reborn a few years ago. But what if the folding display was found on the outside of the device?
That's something which Samsung is showing off right now at CES 2024. The Korean brand has brought a concept phone to the show, which uses a case similar to the Z Flip 5, but with the display on the outside of the case.
That's an interesting prospect. Little has been said about the intricacies of the technology within the display itself, but there must be a fair amount going on. After all, the display will have to expand over a joint in this configuration. People moan about creases in modern flip phones, so I can't imagine a host of stretch marks will win them any favour.
The screens have apparently been tested quite rigorously, though. The device has been tested with extreme temperatures of -20 to 60 degrees, as well as having basketballs bounced on them and being immersed in sand and water.
According to Samsung, the Flex In&Out technology allows users to fold the device a full 360°. That would make for a device with a full outer display, which could be used even when folded.
I find that to be a really interesting concept. The design itself could see the cover display extend right around the outside of the device. Is that useful? Well, that remains to be seen. I can't think of a use case right now – outside of making a triangle shape and being able to game on either side of the device, maybe – but the brand will surely have something to showcase if it makes it onto a commercial handset.