Here's What Samsung's Cooking Up for Its Foldable Displays

Here's What Samsung's Cooking Up for Its Foldable Displays

Samsung's foldables might, more accurately, be referred to as "slideables" in future iterations.

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A photo of the Samsung Flex Hybrid display
In the future, Samsung’s foldables will look like regular static devices.
Image: Samsung

CES 2023 as a showcase may be over, but the coming technology is still on our minds. This week, after folks had a chance to recuperate a bit from trawling all over Las Vegas to see the latest and greatest, there was finally time to reflect on how this will be a serious year for foldables. I’m certainly hoping it is.

In particular, Samsung showed off what it’s working on next. The company is a massive components provider for all the big brands you’re wielding in your hand, including Apple’s iPhone. That’s why we’re paying close attention to what Samsung says is coming down its manufacturing pipeline. It gives a good glimpse at how the rest of the industry will pursue display technology, though it’s a wonder if Samsung’s research and development will pay off in the long run. Analysts predict an uptick in foldable display shipments by 2026, though the price needs to decrease before more folks start flocking to them.

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Flex Hybrid

Flex Hybrid

A render of the Samsung Flex Hybrid display
Image: Samsung

The Flex Hybrid screen is a hybrid foldable-slidable. It starts as a 10.5-inch display with a 4:3 ratio, perfect for scrolling through pages, then slides into a larger 12.4-inch screen with a 16:10 ratio, making it a suitable resolution for watching a video. Samsung says in its press release that this particular display is the “prototype of future laptops.”

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Flex G

Flex G

A photo of the Flex G
Image: Samsung

The Samsung Flex G display was a part of last year’s CES announcements. But hardly anyone was there in person to see it, so Samsung trotted it out again this time around. The Flex G display is a tablet-style device that opens up like one of those light-up makeup mirrors used in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The idea is absolute portable immersion.

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Flex S

Flex S

A photo of the Flex S
Image: Samsung

Then there’s the Flex S, which is easy to imagine as our future for Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices. (A recently filed patent suggests we’re headed in that direction.) This foldable transforms from a handheld phone to a mega-long tablet in an S shape. It’s also smaller than the long-and-narrow Z Fold 4 in its current iteration.

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Flex Note

Flex Note

A photo of the Flex Note
Image: Samsung

Last year, and then again this year in its booth, Samsung showed off the Flex Note, which offers a 17.3-inch display panel with a 4:3 ratio in a 13-inch package. This touchscreen laptop would probably compete with notebooks like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 with its expandable display. However, it uses a virtual keyboard, which may not be for everyone.

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Flex Slidable Solo

Flex Slidable Solo

This foldable display made its official prototype debut at CES 2023. It expands from a 14-inch panel to a mega-wide 17.3-inch display in one slab so you can switch between ratios.

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Flex Slidable Duet

Flex Slidable Duet

A photo of the Flex Duet
Image: Samsung

The Flex Slideable Duet foldable display also debuted at CES 2023. It opens up to about the same size as the Slidable Solo. The difference here is that it expands on either side instead of in one direction.

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Flex In and Out

Flex In and Out

A photo of the Flex In and Out
Image: Samsung

This display technology looks almost identical to the one already used on the Z Fold 4. In tablet mode, the phone can fold forward and backward into a smartphone device.

 

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