As mobile phones have evolved over the past three decades, every stage has had its charms. In the late 90s, Nokia's came with the wonder that is Snake. In the early 00s, devices got tiny. Since Apple released the iPhone in 2007, we all hate buttons. Then there are flip phones, which date back to the 80s, were hugely popular in the first wave of affordable handsets and offer something unique — the thrill that comes with slamming one shut.
Thanks to Samsung, it seems that sensation will no longer be the domain of fond memories and 90s-set cinema, with the technology giant adapting the concept to the smartphone era. While clamshell handsets have never completely gone away, they don't tend to go hand-in-hand with touch screens. Samsung is solving that problem by making their new model foldable in the centre instead of flipping from the top, according to reports by CNBC.
Speaking with the network, IT and mobile communications division CEO DJ Koh said the company would unveil its new phone later this year, with more details about size, cost and the device's release date likely to be announced at the Samsung Developer Conference in November. The handset is expected to use a single screen that's capable of being folded in the middle, and not two separate screens that are hinged together. Users will be able to use the phone both when it's folded and unfolded, although it'll have more functionality when it's in the latter state. Koh also pointed out that the foldable device won't just be a tablet in a more compact form.
In short, it's set to serve up something a bit fancier than your old Motorola RAZR — and if it sounds familiar, that's because it's not the first time that Samsung have played around with the idea. The company released a concept video in 2014, showcasing its flexible OLED display and featuring a device that never came to fruition.