7 Samsung Rumors: Is Samsung Working on Foldable Phones?
Each week, an array of exciting new Samsung rumors surfaces. Even if speculation about future component upgrades or rumors about devices that may or may not actually materialize don’t normally hold your attention, it’s hard not to be curious about what one of the biggest tech companies in the world is planning. Read on for this week’s most interesting reports about Samsung’s plans and future products, from what’s going on with its upcoming smartphones to the company’s plans for new tablets, a redesigned S Pen, and Android Nougat updates for existing phones.
1. The Galaxy S8 could get a dual-camera system
SamMobile reports that a patent application that Samsung filed recently in South Korea may indicate that the Galaxy S8 will get a dual-camera system. The filing details a camera interface with improved zoom control, with zoom achievable via a one-finger gesture. The fact that Samsung is looking to improve the camera’s zoom control seems to coincide with rumors that the upcoming Galaxy S8 could be equipped with a dual-camera system. Such a setup would offer zoom capabilities more advanced than those of a more traditional camera, and would give Samsung a good reason to make it easier for users to take advantage of the camera’s zoom functionality.
2. Samsung phones may get bendable or foldable screens in the near future
The Korea Herald reports that Samsung has filed a patent for the technology to manufacture bendable displays with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The publication notes that Samsung has filed a total of 30 related patents with the USPTO, 14 of them in 2016. The patents have reportedly “either been registered both at home and abroad or disclosed to the public years ago, suggesting that the tech giant and its affiliate have prepared for the launch of such models.” It’s been reported that Samsung is considering introducing two smartphones next February, one of which would fold in half, while the other may unfold from a 5-inch form into an 8-inch form. As SamMobile notes, the news comes only a few months after Samsung was granted a patent for software that could power bendable and foldable displays.
3. A foldable Samsung tablet may be on its way
Speaking of foldable screens, SamMobile reports that Samsung has been awarded a patent for a foldable tablet that features an integrated keyboard and stand. Illustrations show that the device has a foldable keyboard, plus an integrated kickstand on the back, and three foldable segments that, when open, combine to form a large display. The patent doesn’t address the materials that Samsung will use, and of course it doesn’t give us any idea of the kind of timeline that Samsung is considering for such a foldable tablet. But it’s possible that the company is considering an entire lineup of foldable devices, if its recent patent filings are any indication.
4. The Galaxy Note 8 may get a redesigned S Pen
Chris Smith reports for BGR that while Samsung is likely hard at work making sure that the battery of the Galaxy Note 8 won’t have any issues, the company is also planning some exciting new features for the flagship device. Those features may include a redesigned S Pen, which a newly-discovered patent indicates could be equipped with a speaker. The patent in question describes a speaker system that would work differently depending on the position of the stylus. When the S Pen is docked, for instance, sound would emanate from the bottom of the stylus. But when it’s in use, sound would be emitted from the S Pen enclosure. Smith posits that the invention would enable Samsung to free up space inside the next Galaxy Note, since it could then jettison the speaker and speaker grille found on the current generation. That extra space might be used to boost battery capacity, or even house additional components.
5. Samsung may drop the headphone jack from the Galaxy S8
Aric Suber-Jenkins reports for Mic that according to current rumor, Samsung may follow in Apple’s steps and drop the headphone jack from the upcoming Galaxy S8. A number of sources have suggested that Samsung is ready to part ways with the technology, in part thanks to a press release published by the USB Implementers Forum. The document details the Audio Device 3.0 specification for the USB Type-C port, which Samsung included on the Galaxy Note 7. The document explains that “device manufacturers can eliminate the need for multiple ports and efficiently deliver data, power, and video over a single connector with USB Type-C.” It adds, “USB Audio over USB Type-C allows [original equipment manufacturers] to remove the 3.5mm analog audio jack, shaving up to a millimeter off product designs and reducing the number of connectors on a device.”
6. Samsung seems to be in the final stages of testing Android Nougat for the Galaxy S7
SamMobile reports that Samsung seems to be in the final stages of testing the long-waited Nougat update for the Galaxy S7. A variant of the device running Android 7.0 has appeared on the official GFXBench online database, and SamMobile reports that “typically, when a unit is benchmarked operating a new version of Android, it indicates that a rollout is imminent.” Samsung has been testing Nougat firmware for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in Poland, and it’s likely that the company will soon begin distributing an update for the phones in Europe.
7. Samsung’s flagship flip phone seems to be close to a launch
Numerous rumors have surfaced about Samsung’s upcoming flagship flip phone, codenamed “Veyron.” SamMobile reports that the device seems to be close to a launch, since it’s received its FCC certification. The device is expected to feature a 4.2-inch full HD super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of expandable storage. It is also likely to be equipped with a 12MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, plus a fingerprint sensor, Samsung Pay support, and a USB Type-C port. While the FCC certification likely means that an announcement is coming soon, we still don’t have any reason to think that Samsung will launch the phone anywhere except China.