Sunday, May 28, 2023

Samsung and LG preview the future of weird phone screens

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Future foldables could move from existing single-fold to two-fold designs, use displays that fold inward and outward, or even use roller screens to expand outward. That’s when manufacturers embrace new folding screen technologies showcased by Samsung screen and LG screen this week in San Jose, California, at the annual Display Week conference.

LG Display is showing off an 8-inch folding touchscreen that it says can be folded both inwards and outwards, similar to what we saw from The Ultra Flex concept from TCL earlier this year. By design, a single folding screen can serve as both an inner screen (as with the Galaxy Z Fold 3) and as an outer screen (as with Huawei’s Mate XS). Devices equipped with this “360-degree foldable OLED” could avoid the need for both an indoor and an outdoor display in favor of just one large screen.

LG Display’s 360-degree foldable OLED can apparently survive being folded “more than 200,000 times” before starting to break, and LG Display says it uses a “special folding structure” that minimizes creasing. Gizmodo reports that the display has a resolution of 2,480 x 2,200 pixels, the same as the inner display of Huawei’s Mate X2.

Not to be outdone, Samsung Display also shows off some interesting foldable technology of its own. The Flex G and Flex S displays, showing it for the first time back at CES, both offer screens that can be folded twice. In the case of the Flex G, they fold twice in the same direction as a triple wallet, while the Flex S folds once in and out like a paper card.

Samsung Display also has a few sliding handsets with screens that fold out horizontally or vertically. We’ve seen many roll-up concepts from companies like TCL, Oppo, and even LG over the years before it left the smartphone business entirely. But despite the interest, there are no smartphones with rollable screens on the market yet.

These are just some of the new form factors LG Display and Samsung Display are showing off at this week’s show. Both companies are also investing heavily in OLED displays for car infotainment displays, as well as displays designed for gaming, such as Samsung Display’s OLED laptop display with a 240Hz refresh rate, or a foldable display designed to hold game controllers on both ends. to have. LG Display also has a 17-inch foldable OLED laptop, with the entire inner surface of the clamshell design being one large foldable screen.

Like the display divisions of their respective South Korean tech giants, neither LG Display nor Samsung Display actually manufacture the consumer devices their panels end up in. But because they supply displays to some of the world’s largest consumer technology companies, showcases like Display Week can give us an interesting look at where foldable devices are headed in the coming years.

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