Samsung unveils breakthrough folding smartphone

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Denison then opened the smartphone like a magazine, which revealed the larger screen with the ability to fold out to a "full seven inches", he said. During the presentation, Samsung also disguised the rest of the phone's design by covering everything beyond the screen with extra casing - similar to how prototype cars are camouflaged during street testing.

We didn't get a final name for the device, or a look at the final hardware, but we now know that the technology behind it is called an "Infinity Flex Display".

But it's not clear whether flexible-screen phones will have mass appeal, especially when the bendy devices are expected to cost more than $1,000. Beyond this being a design that's aimed at catering to larger displays, Samsung also argues the new UI makes "it more natural and comfortable for one-handed use" in general. So why don't we think about folding?

This is what allows the whole screen to fold inwards, clamshell-style. When opened, the interior screen lays flat - with little hint of a crease - to show a widescreen version of whatever app had been previously running on the front.

Consumers are unlikely to want to buy a foldable smartphone if there are no compelling apps that take advantage of the multiple, expanding screens. Right now, Samsung's screen-to-body ratio on the Galaxy Note 9 is about 84%.

USA start-up Royole launched its own version last week - the FlexPai, which features a 7.8-inch screen that can be folded down to fit into a pocket. We'll have to see how it wears in real-world use.

Are you excited about the concept of a foldable phone?

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Samsung will not be the first to introduce a foldable device however. The device looks like a standard smartphone when closed.

While at its SDC 2018 developer conference in San Francisco, Samsung showed off a rather thick smartphone that folds.

What will we do with that big screen? "We can not make it happen on our own", he said.

Burke used the event to announce Google's support for Android devices with foldable screens.

Samsung says it will be ready to hit the market at some point next year.

The collaborative approach also makes Samsung different from Apple, which usually keeps unfinished new technologies under wraps.