You won't see it in any of the best phones this year, but Samsung Display has been working on a phone display that's even more useful than a folding one. The new OLED display doesn't just unfold; it slides out too.
As you can see in the marketing image above from ET News, that means you can take an eight-inch phone display, unfold it to make it ten inches and then slide it out to get 12.4 inches. That's equivalent to a pretty big tablet – and it'll still fit in your bag or pocket, assuming you've got quite big pockets.
Samsung will be showing off the new display this week at CES – but it'll be doing it behind closed doors. According to SamMobile, the new "hybrid" display panel is going to be shown to Samsung Display's business partners rather than to the general public.
What do we know about Samsung's hybrid panel?
So far details are very sketchy, although we'd expect more information to leak after Samsung's presentation. So far this display is a prototype rather than a production reality, and when (or if) it does go into production it'll no doubt be terrifyingly expensive for some time.
As SamMobile explains, the reveal is designed to show phone firms the technology now so they can plan to implement it in the future: to deliver a phone that not only unfolds but expands too takes some very complex engineering. As Samsung learnt the hard way with its early folding phones, such displays can produce all kinds of engineering issues and quality concerns: it's not just a matter of sticking two panels together.
I'm quite excited about this. I think the best folding phones have demonstrated the value of expanding phones, the quality control issues that affected earlier models have largely been solved and now Google has properly committed to Android on tablets the big-screen Android experience is vastly better than it used to be. So a phone that can become almost as big as the largest iPad Pro is a very tantalising prospect. I can't wait to see Samsung's solution.