5 Samsung Rumors: Is a Flexible Galaxy Phone Coming?

Each week, an array of exciting new Samsung rumors surfaces. Even if you aren’t typically eager to learn about the new components that tech giants are working on or don’t get particularly excited to read rumors about devices that may or may not actually materialize, it’s hard not to be curious about what Samsung is planning for its future devices. Read on for this week’s most interesting rumors about Samsung’s plans and future products, from the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S8 to the company’s plans for flexible phones and wireless chargers.

1. The Galaxy Note 7 will have a bigger battery than the Note 5

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The Galaxy Note 7 will likely have a bigger battery than least year’s Galaxy Note 5 | Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Smith reports for BGR that the upcoming Galaxy Note 7 is expected to have a bigger battery than the Galaxy Note 5, but a smaller battery than the Galaxy S7 Edge. Korean carrier SKT accidentally published a webpage for the Galaxy Note 7 and lists the phone’s specifications. According to the carrier, the Galaxy Note 7 features a 3,500mAh battery, which is significantly larger than the 3,000mAh battery found in the Note 5 but 100mAh less than the battery of the Galaxy S7 Edge.

That’s despite the fact that the Note 7 will be thicker than the Galaxy Note 5 or the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, Smith points out that each Note smartphone comes with a built-in S Pen stylus, which takes up “plenty of space inside the phone, space that might be otherwise used to bump up the phone’s battery.” Nonetheless, a 3,500mAh battery would offer better battery life than last year’s Note. The phone will be introduced on August 2, and Samsung is expected to open preorders as soon as the event keynote wraps up.

2. Samsung may be referring to the Galaxy S8 as “Project Dream”

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The Galaxy S8, referred to internally as “Project Dream,” will likely go all in on Google’s virtual reality standard | Thomas Samson/Getty Images

SamMobile reports that Samsung is internally referring to the Galaxy S8 as “Project Dream,” which may be further evidence that the device will be certified for Google’s Daydream virtual reality standard. Rumor has it that the device will be equipped with a VR-ready 4K display, which SamMobile reports would make the Galaxy S8 “Samsung’s first consumer handset with a 4K Vr display.”

The company recently demonstrated a 5.5-inch 4K display for VR at the Display Week conference in San Francisco, and several sources have suggested that that display will be featured in next year’s Galaxy S8. Certification for Google’s Daydream standard requires that a device be equipped with a variety of sensors to offer a high-quality virtual reality experience, so the Galaxy S8 will likely place a big emphasis on VR.

3. Samsung has patented the “muscle” that could make flexible phones possible

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Samsung is exploring the technology that could make flexible and foldable phones possible | David Ramos/Getty Images

Charlie Osborne reports for ZDNet that Samsung has patented an artificial muscle system that would enable a smartphone to fold into various forms without being damaged. The company has filed two patents that would make flexible phones a possibility. The first describes a flexible display that contains a set of flexible components, described as “a support member provided between the display panel and the image processing board and at least one artificial muscle connecting at least two plates.” The “muscle” is a set of connected plates that use sensors to respond when the device is bent, shifting the device’s internal components to enable movement.

The second patent describes a display panel separated into two sections, which, along with the artificial muscle, could be flexed in different ways. Osborne notes that the idea of bendable smartphones is a compelling one, but despite the rumors, the intellectual property, and speculation about Samsung’s ongoing “Project Valley,” it’s unclear whether the company will really design a consumer-facing flexible smartphone.

4. New wireless chargers may be on their way

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New patents indicate that Samsung may soon introduce new wireless chargers | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

PatentlyMobile reports that Samsung has filed a patent for new wireless charger designs. As the publication puts it, the patent “illustrates three new distinct designs that are stylish in comparison to their current round flat and boring disk design.” All three designs feature a taller form factor that could charge a smartphone and smartwatch at the same time. The publication speculates that, given the appearance of the patent, Samsung may introduce a new wireless charger as soon as the launch of the Galaxy Note 7.

The technology described in the patent simultaneously generates a vertical magnetic field and a horizontal magnetic field, so that a device could be charged on the side of the charger as well as on the upper surface. That means that a large wireless charging pad wouldn’t be necessary, and you could charge your smartphone and your smartwatch without a charger claiming all of the real estate on your nightstand.  Samsung notes that the wireless charger could potentially charge cameras, wearable devices, electronic glasses, head-mounted devices, smartwatches, smartphones, and tablets.

5. Samsung may launch the Galaxy Tab S3 on September 1

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Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy Tab S3 may be introduced as soon as September | Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

Ben Schoon reports for 9to5Google that Samsung may be planning to introduce the Galaxy Tab S3 on September 1. Schoon notes that last year’s Galaxy Tab S2 was one of the few Android tablets deserving of attention, with “solid specifications, fantastic build quality, and a software experience to match.” We’re due for a successor to that device, and Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin reports that the Galaxy Tab S3 is coming on September 1. The device is expected to feature a design similar to that of the Tab S2, along with upgrades to the processor and software. The Tab S3 is also likely to be Samsung’s first tablet to run Android N out of the box.

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