Google is reportedly working with Samsung on a special version of Android for foldable phones.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the user interface (UI) design of the custom Android version relies on the hardware design Samsung chooses. Currently, the South Korea-based tech giant is debating between two potential prototypes.
One of the two prototypes is longer horizontally when unfolded, while the other is longer vertically. Reports indicate Samsung’s designers favour the vertical prototype as its more comfortable to hold with one hand.
Additionally, the prototype allegedly features a smaller outer display. This would allow users to access some features of the device without flipping it open. However, because of multiple and bigger screens, the prototype weighs more than 200 grams. For reference, the iPhone XS Max clocks in at 208 grams, and the S9+ weighs 189 grams. Reportedly, the engineers are considering reducing the battery size to lower the weight.
As for the hinge, the report says it’s passed internal testing with more than 200,000 successful folds. While that meets the durability threshold, there are still concerns about mass production’s effect on this. Additionally, when the screen does break, it “shatters like dried paper.”
The folding display device bears the codename ‘Winner.’ Allegedly, Samsung won’t be able to launch the device commercially until the second quarter of 2019. Despite that, a team of engineers will reportedly accompany Samsung’s president of mobile DJ Koh to the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, California next month.
The engineers will present a detailed conceptual image of the phone. Further, the engineers will reportedly show off the features and user interface of ‘Winner.’
In-display fingerprint scanner, 5G and no headphone jack in the S10
Along with the folding display phone, the report mentions a device codenamed ‘Beyond.’ That device is the standard S10.
The report says the S10 will feature a curved OLED display with almost no top or bottom bezel. Additionally, the device features triple cameras on the back, and the front camera is reportedly tucked under the screen. ‘Beyond’ will be about the same size as the 5.8-inch S9.
Samsung has also reportedly embedded a fingerprint sensor in the display of the S10. Allegedly, the company is in talks with U.S. carrier Verizon regarding adding 5G to the S10 as well.
However, engineers are reportedly toying with the idea of removing the headphone jack from the device.
The S10 will also ship with Android 9.0 Pie.
Finally, Samsung is reportedly developing a third, more affordable version of its flagship model. The move is likely to compete with other Chinese rivals like Huawei, which offers premium devices at lower prices.
Ultimately, it seems like Samsung is putting a lot of thought into its next range of premium flagships. One of the best ways the company can set itself apart from other Android manufacturers is with hardware. Samsung appears to be putting every hardware advantage it has into its next round of phones. 2019 could shape up to be an exciting year.