Editor's Note: Samsung has cancelled preorders for the Galaxy Fold. We'll update the story as more information becomes available.
Are we about to enter a new double-sized smartphone era? In the last couple of days, LG, Samsung and even TCL unveiled either dual screen or large foldable phones.
Most prominently, after an embarrassing cancellation four months ago after reported breaking screens, Samsung has loudly and proudly re-introduced its $2,000 Galaxy Fold foldable phone. The revamped Fold goes on sale today in South Korea, then Europe and the rest of Asia will be able to buy it starting September 18, and it will reappear in the U.S. “soon” according to Nicole Ng, Samsung Mobile European product manager.
LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen
With far less fanfare, LG unveiled an early version of its LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen mobile to small groups of reporters. Rather than a fancy foldable screen, the G8X is instead two distinct phones, one essentially a master and one essentially a slave. Both screens, however, are identical – twin 6.4-inch FHD+ OLEDs with identical color profiles, and each screen device fits into a case connected by a 360-degree friction hinge that thoughtfully sticks wherever you angle it.
Some apps can be spread across both screens, but the G8X’s main function is as a multimedia device, allowing users to run to distinct, yet linked apps on each screen. For instance, clicking a link from a Google search on one screen opens the desired page on the other. Or, a user could work within two separate apps, one of each screen, such as watching a movie on one side while tweeting on the other. For gaming, one screen could serve as a virtual LG Game Pad to play an FPS displayed on the other screen. Kyle Yoon, LG’s product manager, listed a host of so-called “up-level multitasking” using the G8X, citing the rising rates of consumers multitasking on different devices.
Technically, the G8X has three screens; the cover includes a 2.1-inch monochrome (white on black) display for time and status.
Spec-wise, the 4G LTE G8X weighs in at 134 grams, is 14.99mm thin, is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, includes 6GB of RAM and 128GB of user memory supplemented by a microSD card slot, a 4000 mAh “all day” battery when both screens are constantly used, can be charged the usual cabled way, via Fast Charge 4.0 or Qi wireless, and features an in-display optical fingerprint sensor.
Along with three screens, the G8X is equipped with three EIS-equipped cameras: a 32MP sensor on one side, and on the other are a standard-angled 12MP and a wide-angle 13MP array. The G8X captures 4K standard and time lapse video, along records trendy ASMR audio (that weird whispering-into-the-microphone with weird sound effects effect). There are “true” balanced stereo speakers for improved sound, and gamma and video adjustment – not HDR10+ – for improved movie watching. The G8X will be IP68 dust and waterproof, and MIL-STD 810G tested.
LG plans to launch the G8X sometime in Q4 at a price yet-to-be-determined.
While TCL launched its first mobile phone, the PLEX, the company also teased its own butterfly-hinged foldable phone. Stefan Strait, TCL’s GM of marketing, stressed the device was purely experimental at this stage, but proudly showed it off to the assembled Media.