5 Samsung Rumors: From Bendable Phones to Iris Scanners

Each week, an array of exciting new Samsung rumors surfaces. Even if you aren’t normally interested in industry speculation or idle chatter about the differences between minor components, it’s hard not to be curious about what one of the biggest technology companies in the world is planning for its next phones, wearable devices, and apps. Read on for this week’s most interesting reports about Samsung’s plans and future products.

1. Samsung may release two bendable smartphones in 2017

A festival goer takes a photo on a Samsung Note5 of singer Sia performing onstage at Samsung Galaxy Life Fest at SXSW 2016 on March 13, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

Rick Kern/Getty Images

Jungah Lee reports for Bloomberg that Samsung is considering releasing two phones with bendable screens in 2017, according to “people familiar with the matter.” The devices would use OLED screens, and the company is considering one version that folds in half. That model would reportedly feature a 5-inch screen when used as a phone, which would then unfold into a display as large as 8 inches.

The effort, codenamed “Project Valley,” could see Samsung unveiling one or both of the devices as soon as February, when Mobile World Congress will be held in Barcelona. Such timing would give the company a head start on using flexible OLED screens before Apple, which may release iPhones with bendable — but not foldable — OLED screens later in 2017. Samsung reportedly doesn’t plan to market the bendable-screen models under the Galaxy S name.

2. The Galaxy Note 7 may be equipped with an iris scanner

Samsung phone

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GSM Arena reports that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 7 may feature an iris scanner. (Samsung is reportedly planning to skip the Galaxy Note 6 and jump straight to the Galaxy Note 7 in order to unify the naming for its flagship phones.) A leaked screenshot of beta firmware made available via the Samsung Galaxy Beta Program revealed an option for an iris scanner in the Privacy settings. Rumor has it that this setting indicates that Samsung will be adding an iris scanner to its next flagship, which at this point, is the Galaxy Note 7. Another report showed a Zauba listing for 200 iris scanner units imported into India from South Korea.

As noted by SamMobile, Samsung recently registered trademarks for “Galaxy Iris” and “Galaxy Eyeprint” in the European Union, in Korea, and in the United States. Samsung has so far only implemented iris recognition technology on a tablet for businesses and government agencies in India, but the trademarks indicate that Samsung is working on bringing the feature into the mainstream in the near future.

3. Samsung may add a dual-lens camera to the Galaxy Note 7

Taking a photo of a Samsung smartphone

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Another rumor about the next installment in the Note series, as noted by SamMobile, is that it could feature a dual-lens camera. The publication notes that Huwei’s P9 already features a dual-lens camera, as does the G5. Apple’s iPhone 7 is rumored to be getting such a camera system, and it seems plausible that Samsung is looking to stay at the forefront of the trend toward more advanced smartphone cameras.

The Galaxy Note 7 is also expected to feature a 5.8-inch Quad HD display and a 4,000mAh battery. The rumored Galaxy Note 7 Edge could integrate 6GB of RAM, USB Type-C charging, a new Focus app to serve as a communication hub, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 823 chip, and IP68 dust and water resistance. The device is expected to be announced the week of August 15.

4. This year’s Note may not come with Android N installed

Samsung Galazy Note device with stylus

Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

SamMobile reports that the Galaxy Note 6 (or Galaxy Note 7, as rumors indicate it may be called instead) may not run Android N out of the box. A leaked user agent profile suggests that the phone may not come with Google’s latest operating system preinstalled. Instead, the device is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. SamMobile notes that if the device were to ship with Android N, it’s expected that Samsung would be testing the device Android N developer builds. Since it’s not, this could meant that the Galaxy Note 6 will come with Android 6.0.1. Marshmallow when it launches.

5. Next year’s Galaxy S8 may get a 4K UHD display

Samsung event

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Edoardo Maggio reports for 9to5Google that rumors are already indicating that Samsung may introduce a 4K resolution screen in next year’s Galaxy S8. While the company is reportedly working on a number of more experimental products, it’s still expected to introduce a “safe” Galaxy S8. However, that device could lead Samsung’s charge toward 4K resolution.

An official at UBI Research noted, “Samsung Display showcased a 5.5 ultra-high definition 4K display with a pixel density of 806 ppi for virtual reality devices at the Society for Information Display, a display trade show, in California in March.” He added, “Considering various factors including the production yield rate for the next-generation display expected to improve in the coming months, the 5.5-inch AMOLED will be deployed in the next Galaxy smartphone, presumably, named the S8.”

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