Samsung requests a patent on new Galaxy Z device with sideways foldable display

Following the success of the Galaxy Z foldables line, which includes both the Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Flip, we’ve seen Samsung show off other foldable form factors including a rollable phone. The latest possible new form factor revealed by Samsung was spotted by LetsGoDigital in a patent application that the South Korean manufacturing giant filed with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) called “Electronics device comprising flexible display.”

Samsung seeks a patent on a foldable phone with a new form factor

Before we discuss this new form factor, let’s take a step back to explain the difference between the Galaxy Z Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip. The former features an external display measuring 6.2-inches. When the device is opened outward (like a book), it reveals a larger 7.6-inch internal display.

This makes the device perfect for those who need to change from a phone to a tablet while on the go. It also is great for those who consume streaming video or are serious mobile game players.

When closed, the Galaxy Z Flip clamshell fits easily in the pocket and flips open to become a full-sized 6.7-inch handset when needed. The 1.1-inch cover display on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will alert you when you have a new text, email, phone call, and more. This device is for those who need a full-sized phone but want to carry it in a shirt or pants pocket without a problem.

And perhaps the best part of owning the Galaxy Z Flip is the ability to slam close the handset when a phone conversation leaves you angry at the person at the other end of the call. There is a skill required to slam shut the clamshell allowing the user to vent his anger.

Returning to the aforementioned patent, which was filed by Sammy in the middle of 2021, it shows a handset that at first blush resembles an ordinary smartphone. However, on the rear panel next to the vertical camera array is a small screen surface that can be opened and wrapped around adding it to the screen in front of the device. This small extension juts out to extend the display on the front of the phone.

For a good example of what we are writing about, look at the drawing that accompanies this article and you’ll be able to visualize how that additional display next to the rear camera can be folded open and used on the front of the device. When the flexible screen is fully opened, the phone might remind you of the LG Wing which had a main screen that could be rotated horizonally to reveal a smaller secondary display creating a “T-shape”.

A special hinge prevents the flexible screen from detaching accidentally

LetsGoDigital had graphic designer Jermaine Smit from Concept Creator produce a series of renders based on the images included in Samsung’s patent application. To make this design possible, a unique hinge is employed that is hard to break, even if the user bends the screen back too far. The hinge would be located under the foldable display.

The patent application specifically makes note of the use of UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) which is also employed by Samsung on the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. A trio of magnets is used to prevent the flexible display from detaching accidentally while the phone is placed in one of the user’s pockets. Sensors inside the device will be able to detect the current configuration of the phone allowing the device to adjust the UI accordingly.

For example, when fully unfolded, the extra flap of screen will be used to show a picture-in-picture display. The user would be able to view a streaming video on the extra screen flap even while an app appears taking up the phone’s regular display. A hole-punch front-facing camera is used for selfies and video chats.

As with every patent application, submitting the documentation does not indicate that Samsung plans to definitely produce this phone.

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