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Wacky Samsung design details a dual-folding phone with sliding keyboard

Keyboards on mobile devices may be on their way back.

Published onOctober 29, 2020

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 butterfly shot
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Samsung has applied for a patent on a dual-folding device with a sliding keyboard.
  • Its design may resemble a smartphone, tablet, or laptop in its various folded modes.

According to a design patent filed by Samsung, the firm is exploring adding more folds and keyboards to its future mobile devices. Per LetsGoDigital, a Samsung Display patent filed in Korea in 2018 has now surfaced showcasing the firm’s vision of a future folding phone.

The device wouldn’t strictly be a smartphone, though. Like the Galaxy Z Fold 2, sketches suggest that it can be folded into a single-screen device, but the two folds would likely extend that display size well into tablet territory. The dual-folding system may also allow one portion of the screen to prop itself up like a mini laptop.

While we’ve seen dual-folding designs from Samsung before, this particular example also features a sliding keyboard. Patent sketches suggest it won’t resemble a BlackBerry-like hardware tapper, adopting touch keys instead. This likely allows for a slimmer design.

Next: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review: The only folding phone to buy

Finally, a single selfie camera is on the device’s right flank, which would be the top bezel when used in tablet mode. It’s unclear what the rear camera array holds, as there are no sketches of the device’s backplate. LetsGoDigital imagined the device’s display and keyboard in the renders below.

Ostensibly, it’s a curious, cumbersome design. Although it features laptop-like traits, users would be better serviced by a fully tactile keyboard and a display that can stand up on its own. You know, things an actual laptop or tablet/keyboard combo provides.

Although LetsGoDigital is calling this device the Galaxy Z Fold 3, we doubt that this is more than a proof of concept than anything else. Samsung likely has plans to bolster its foldable lines, but adding another fold to its current device designs would be a risk.

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