After a barrage of leaks and rumors followed by even more leaks and rumors, Samsung on Wednesday finally gave a glimpse of its fancy Galaxy smartphone with a folding display. It was our first authentic look at the upcoming handset. Samsung hid the design in a chunky case, but it did offer up some detailed specs.
During the presentation, Samsung talked about having to "invent new materials" to make this phone a reality. It began with finding a malleable adhesive that would allow the company to laminate the display layers securely together while also allowing them to flex. The result is the Infinity Flex display, which Samsung is billing as the "biggest leap forward in mobile display technology in the last decade."
Samsung didn't livestream a rundown of the specs, but it did talk about them. As reported by CNET's Shara Tibkin, when unfolded the main 7.3-inch display has a 2152x1536 resolution with a screen density of 420 pixels per inch (ppi). That works out to a 4.2:3 aspect ratio. This is the tablet version that Samsung talked about.
When folded into a standard smartphone form factor, the 4.58-inch cover display has a 1920x840 resolution with the exact same screen density (420 ppi). The aspect ratio on the cover display is 21:9.
Other details will have to wait, including core components and notably the processor, RAM, and storage allotment. Samsung had previously indicated that its folding phone would not be a flagship model, so we wouldn't expect the same type of hardware as found in devices like the Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note 9, for example.
As an interesting aside to all this, WitsView, a division of TrendForce, released a report this morning indicating that phones with high screen-to-body ratios have become mainstream.
"The market has witnessed stronger demand for full-screen smartphones while higher screen-to-body ratio has become a major trend of this year. In order to make bezels narrower, drive ICs for mid- and high-end phones have been switching from solutions based on Chip-on-Glass (COG) packaging to those on Chip-on-Film (COF) packaging," WitsView said.
The market research firm anticipates the percentage of models using COF packaging to account for more than a third of all smartphones in 2019, up from 16.5 percent in 2018.