On 2 December 2019, Samsung has filed a new patent with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) via Finland, which contains the following description:
“Smartphones; tablet computers; hung in the form of components for smartphones and tablets.”
The document – which was uncovered by Let’s Go Digital and can be viewed here, hints at a clamshell device with a vertically-folding screen similar to the Motorola RAZR. The document also references a ‘hideaway hinge’.
Samsung’s ‘hideaway hinge’
The hinge appears to be hidden in the housing, which for all intents and purposes, makes it hardly visible. It’s an interesting concept in theory, and we look forward to see how Samsung would incorporate it.
The hideaway hinge is probably the most important part of a foldable phone; Samsung learned their lesson with the first fold, when test units sent to journalists began breaking apart at the hinges.
A properly functioning hinge contributes to a good user experience and will keep the phone going for quite some time. The Huawei Mate X, as an example, has a Falcon Wing while the TCL’s foldable phone is known as the DragonHinge.
Samsung’s next foldable phone
Not all that much is known about Samsung’s new folding smartphone and its revolutionary hinge. The phone will feature a punch-hole camera. In addition, the upcoming device is expected to be considerably cheaper than the first generation of foldable smartphones.
The Korea Herald announced earlier this week that the new device would only cost $845 (R12 387 at the time of publishing). It makes the upcoming device cheaper than the RAZR; currently the cheapest folding phone at $1 500 (R21 987).
The Samsung Galaxy Fold was launched for $1 980 (R29 000). In South Africa, pre-orders began at R44 000 and was sold out on the first day.
Even though Samsung refers to the hideaway hinge in the upcoming clamshell design, the technology could be used in another phone, or several other phones, as well.
Two new Samsung foldable phones in 2020
The upcoming device could be a direct successor to the Galaxy Fold. It should be noted though that a clamshell model – such as the Razr – won’t open into a tablet; which currently seems to carry the most appeal.
Rumour has it that two foldable models will be introduced in 2020. Over time, Samsung has had countless designs recorded for a Galaxy Fold with a vertical notch, such as the Galaxy ‘Z-Fold’.
Samsung also recently filed a patent for a foldable tablet, referred to in the media as the Galaxy Tab Fold. The table’s hinge is also hidden away to some extent.
It’s therefore fair to assume that the ‘hideaway hinge’ referred to in the most recent could be possibly be Incorporated in the Tab Fold as well.
Note: The high-resolution 3D renders of the Samsung device used in this article was created by Let’s Go Digital.