Samsung looks to have a scrolling phone in the works that could be in the market later this year.
What’s more, the concept device that’s been spotted has led many to wonder whether its adaptable form could serve as a replacement for the company’s established Galaxy Note line of phablets.
What features does the Galaxy Z Fold Scroll have?
The first breadcrumb in this latest trail – as retweeted by established Samsung tipster, Ice Universe – shows Samsung Electronics’ VP, Jay Y. Lee, holding an unknown silver smartphone when talking with associates, shared on 13 November 2020.
Days later, on 17 November, Chinese rival Oppo unveiled a scrolling phone concept as part of its annual Inno Day event, called the Oppo X 2021, which bore a resemblance to the unknown Samsung device.
The #OPPOX2021 rollable OLED screen:
⚙️ Proprietary roll motor powertrain🛡️ 2-in-1 plate✨ Warp Track high-strength screen laminate#OPPOINNODAY20 pic.twitter.com/VXvPgMKuB1
— OPPO (@oppo)
November 17, 2020
Ice Universe then made the first mention of the ‘Galaxy Z Fold Scroll’ later that same day, with the name in reference to the phone’s rolling display, which is thought to expand and contract in and out of the phone’s body, much like Oppo’s concept.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of an expandable phone from Samsung (as first reported by Korean site ETNews), with a retractable concept device reportedly shown to a select few behind closed doors at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Preceding that, in late 2018 Samsung had already registered a design patent (pictured) with the KIPO (Korean Intellectual Property Office) which was approved in May the following year and made public on June 24, 2019 (as spotted by LetsGoDigital).
While it’s clear that Samsung has actually had a device like the Scroll on its roadmap for some time, little is currently known about what else beyond its signature expanding display the phone will likely offer.
That said, the physical concept, spotted by Ice Universe, appears to measure in at around the same size as the existing Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which has led to discussions about the Note’s place in the future lineup of Samsung’s mobile devices.
As an extension of the original KIPO listing, LetsGoDigital also spotted that in March 2020, Samsung had applied for a patent for a ‘dual slidable electronic device’, the documentation of which was released by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) in January 2021.
This newer patent details a device with a system of chainlinks and gears, along with a flexible display and flexible back that all allow the device to expand in width.
Based on the WIPO listing, Jermaine Smit (aka Concept Creator) created mock-up renders images for LetsGoDigital that demonstrate what such a device might look like, with a design aesthetic seemingly lifted from the Samsung Galaxy S21 range.
Additional details include an increase in display size of about 30%, which paired with previous reports of a 6in display when collapsed down, would equate to the device sporting an 8in display when expanded.
When is the Galaxy Z Fold Scroll available?
At this current stage, Ice Universe describes the Scroll as a ‘laboratory test product’ but alludes to a release later this year, to compete with similar products from the likes of Oppo and Xiaomi.
It’s also thought that the Scroll will launch alongside a future foldable – i.e. another member of the Galaxy Z Fold family; most likely the Galaxy Z Fold 3 – follow-up to the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
How much is the Galaxy Z Fold Scroll?
While it’s too early to expect leaks around pricing for a device like the Scroll, based on the fact that it looks set to be a member of Samsung’s experimental Galaxy Z line, it’ll likely cost a pretty penny.
The most affordable member of the line – the Galaxy Z Flip – comes in at £1,300, while the priciest – the Galaxy Z Fold 2 – costs £1,799. With the Scroll serving up first-generation technology, there’s a chance that it may cost as much, if not more than the Z Fold 2.
We also chat about the rumoured Z Fold Scroll in an episode of our weekly YouTube podcast Fast Charge, so check it out and subscribe:
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