Samsung took the wraps off its new Infinity Flex Display device this morning, the first foldable hybrid gadget from the company that transforms from a phone into a tablet. Samsung says it plans to go into mass production for just the display in the “matter of months,” but we don’t really know much of anything about it beyond the brief glimpse we got onstage today. It’s a total mystery what it will cost, and we know very little about how the software will really function and just how many different display orientations it supports.
At a session this afternoon at its developer conference, Samsung did reveal some new information about the planned device, including pixel density, screen size, and aspect ratio in both the folded and unfolded modes, as reported by CNET’s Shara Tibken:
Pixel density is a standard 420 ppi, which is not the highest out there, but perfectly fine. Resolution when folded is 840 x 1960, but 1536 x 2152 when unfolded. The aspect ratios, however, are the more interesting specs here. The folded, phone version of the Infinity Flex has a 4.58-inch display with an aspect ratio of 21:9, which would make it pretty much the tallest device on the market and probably not the greatest screen for game-playing, video viewing, or anything like that. The unfolded, tablet version is clearly the primary mode for those types of activities, as it has a more standard 4.2:3 aspect ratio and a screen size of 7.3 inches.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about how this device is going to work, and how many iterations it might take for Samsung and other phone makers to really nail this form factor. (My guess is it will take a lot.) Thankfully, Google announced Android support for “foldables,” as we’re calling them, earlier this morning in conjunction with Samsung’s big reveal, so the initial software support is already there and it will only continue to get more robust over time.
In fact, news aggregation app Flipboard has already signed on to develop a special version of its app that modifies itself depending on which mode the Infinity Flex is running in:
Flipboard certainly won’t be the only developer to sign on. Considering Samsung is launching a new, three-app multitasking feature it’s calling Multi Active Window, it’s likely at least some other big-name developers will jump at the chance to create responsive and modular versions of their mobile apps to be among first to capitalize on the foldable trend.