This article was published on May 17, 2021

Feast your eyes on Samsung’s next-gen foldable and slidable displays

The company also unveiled a prototype UPC

Feast your eyes on Samsung’s next-gen foldable and slidable displays
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW Writer at Neural by TNW

Samsung is betting big on foldables. The South Korean tech giant reportedly aims to ship as many foldable phones as Galaxy Notes, which would be more than 10 million units a year.

The company today unveiled a series of prototypes that give us a glimpse of what this insane amount of foldables could look like.

The most eye-catching device is the S-foldable OLED display, which can be folded not just once, but twice!

Unfurled, the 7.2-inch screen functions as a tablet, but double-fold it twice, and you’ve got yourself a smartphone.

S-foldable OLED display
Credit: Samsung
Because one fold isn’t always enough

Another multi-purpose foldable that Samsung showcased is a 17-inch OLED panel. The device serves as a monitor when open, and a 4:3 aspect ratio tablet when folded.

17-inch foldable OLED display
Credit: Samsung
The 17-inch foldable combines size and portability

For those who’d rather slide than fold, Samsung also revealed a new slidable OLED prototype. The device is shaped like a regular smartphone when closed, but extends horizontally to provide a large-screen experience.

Slidable OLED display
Credit: Samsung
The slidable display expands for multi-tasking or large-screen video

In addition to its foldables (and slidable), Samsung showed off an under-panel camera (UPC) for laptops.

[Read moreThis dude drove an EV from the Netherlands to New Zealand — here are his 3 top road trip tips]

The tech, which Samsung previously teased on its Weibo page, is designed to minimize a laptop’s bezel and maximize its screen by mounting the camera under the panel. It certainly looks ergonomic, but Samsung hasn’t provided any detail on the webcam’s picture quality.

Slidable OLED display
Credit: Samsung
Samsung has also filed a patent for a smartphone UPC

UPCs aren’t just bound to laptops. The tech is also gaining traction in the smartphone industry, although the earliest releases haven’t exactly set the world alight.

Samsung’s foldable plans are more intriguing to me. The company’s existing models haven’t gained widespread adoption, but reports suggest a more affordable handset is on its way — which might mean I can finally afford one.

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