Samsung today showed a new display prototype that could point to the next foldable generation: folding displays that can be rotated 360 degrees. More specifically, Samsung Display, a subsidiary of the company that designs and manufactures the displays. Samsung Display showed the new display prototype and the matching hinge at CES 2023. The “Flex In & Out” panel can be rotated 360 degrees. So you can fold it both inwards and outwards, company spokesman John Lucas told The Verge. Are we seeing the panel of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 here?
Also, the display comes with a different hinge design that is said to create a significantly less visible crease. The “waterdrop hinge” allows the display to form a looser shape – like a waterdrop – when folded inward. This new hinge design would also put less strain on the display.
It’s not the first time that Samsung Display has shown a Flex In & Out prototype with a design that folds in all directions. In 2021, a similar concept was also seen at South Korea’s International Meeting for Information Displays (IMID). However, the approach was different, and the display folded like a multi-segment “S”. The current Galaxy Z Fold4 (review) went on sale in August 2022. Samsung’s Fold series still uses displays that can only be folded flat in one direction.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 with seamless design?
However, it’s possible that the new display will make its debut in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. Rumor has it that the device could feature a less visible crease thanks to a similar hinge design. The Korean manufacturer would thus address one of the few criticisms of the current Samsung foldables – the U-shaped hinge of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip4 (review), which creates a visible gap. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 would also catch up with the foldable smartphone competition with less noticeable creases. These include the Oppo Find N2 and the third-generation Motorola Razr, among others. You could also do without the external display and build a much flatter Fold 5 or use the space for the battery.
It is not yet known when Samsung will launch the Galaxy Z Fold 5. According to the usual pattern, it would be in August together with the Galaxy Z Flip 5. In the meantime, all eyes are on the new Galaxy S23 series that Samsung will unveil during its upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event on February 1st.