A lot has been made about Samsung releasing a folding smartphone sometime in the next 12 months or so, but we don't know many details on what that phone will involve. Well, if this latest leak is to be believed, it probably won't be a folding dual-screen smartphone. That's because Samsung seemingly made one, and never bothered to release it.
A leaker claims to have got hold of photos of 'Project V', a phone that looks surprisingly similar to ZTE's Axon M but with the usual control buttons you'd expect from a Samsung phone. As you can see, it's basically two smartphone screens that make up the front and back of the phone. Like the Axon M, Project V has a very large ugly hinge separating those screens when they're folded out:
Samsung Project V
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It's also a pretty chunky beast, thicker than most smartphones on the market, which probably would have given certain rivals plenty of opportunity to criticise the design. Weirdly it's like the screen is an extra module that's been slapped onto the typical phone chassis, and there's a very large SIM tray for some reason. It's not clear how photography would have worked either, since we can only see the one front-facing camera on the main display.
Apparently, if legit, this phone would have been in development around 2015 and 2016. Engadget notes that Samsung had been struggling a bit, thanks to a number of gimmicky handsets, and a refocus on core products is likely why this handset never saw the light of day. It would have been a gamble to be sure, and I'm sure it wouldn't have gone down well with a lot of people. I mean how are you supposed to put a dual screen phone in a case? And that hinge is going to get in the way when you try and watch something in full-screens mode.
Fortunately the upcoming folding phone has long suspected to be a flexible display, rather than a hinge-based system seen here. How it'll work isn't clear at this point, but it'll definitely be interesting to see how Samsung manages to avoid breaking all the internal components. Folding a phone isn't difficult, you just need to make sure it can be unfolded afterwards. [Engadget]