In what has likely been the worst kept secret in the tech world, Samsung have officially unveiled their latest flagship, the Galaxy Fold, a smartphone with a screen that can fold in half, operate three apps at once and boasts six cameras - but also carries a hefty price tag of $1,980 (over £1,500).
With it’s 4.6 inch screen on the outside, that unfolds into a larger 7.3 inch screen, Samsung are looking to add tablets to the long list of items that smartphones have cannibalised over the past decade, such as cameras, maps and more recently, wallets.
It is a lot like a smartphone placed on top of another, that unfolds into one big screen.
You can use the phone like any other, but the foldability adds a new dynamic to usability.
Samsung's Senior VP of Mobile, Justin Denison, discusses how you can use up to three apps at the same time, across the large tablet-esque screen: "You can watch a YouTube video of Hawaii, text your friend about it, and browse travel options... all at the same time"
This phone is a powerhouse. Packed with a huge 12GB RAM, 512GB of storage and two 4,380mAh batteries with fast charging. Powered by a Qualcomm 7nm processor. To put this into perspective, it is more powerful than a typical laptop.
It also appears Samsung have opted to follow Apple and their controversial decision to do away with the headphone jack from this device, likely to cater for the required slimline bezel.
The ability to run three apps simultaneously is incredibly useful for power users. As SwiftCase, we can already see the benefits to our users, particularly those who do jobs on the road. Imagine managing your tasks in one panel, checking your emails in another and monitoring Google Maps in the third? Next level efficiency for remote workers.
In a world where we are carrying less and less, the portability of a smartphone with a tablet’s screen real estate is a real winner.
Similar to the first generation of all new smart tech, early adopters are rewarded with a glimpse into the future, at a staggering cost. Whereas users waiting for the second or third iteration will reap the benefits of refined technology at a lower premium.
The odd resolution and shape of the device when opened will also pose some questions regarding compatibility for early adopters. The long/narrow form has become the standard in recent years; we may find app developers playing catch-up at time of release.
An innovative leap in technology, the Galaxy Fold could well be the next logical step in the evolution of the smartphone. There will no doubt be a response from other market leaders, such as Apple, which may be enough to create a much-needed spark after the recent slump in smartphone sales.