Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 may launch by July with an under-screen camera
Samsung is going full steam ahead with its plan to dominate the emerging category of foldable smartphones. Last year, the Korean tech giant introduced the Galaxy Fold, which became the first widely available foldable smartphone. The Fold, pictured above, had a tablet-sized display that could fold horizontally inward. While it demonstrated Samsung’s engineering prowess, the phone felt too much like a first-generation product despite its very expensive price. The Fold has a plastic screen that isn’t very durable, and the app support is still slowing catching up to the new form factor. This year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Z Flip, a foldable smartphone that improved upon the Galaxy Fold’s hinge design, but it isn’t a true successor to the Galaxy Fold as the Z Flip folds vertically. Later this year, however, Samsung seems poised to launch a real successor to the Galaxy Fold, a phone we’re tentatively calling the Galaxy Fold 2 as we don’t know its marketing name.
The name is up in the air since we recently learned evidence the Galaxy Fold is now part of the Galaxy Z line of Samsung foldable smartphones. As such, the device could launch as the Galaxy Z Fold, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, or with another name entirely. For now, we have learned it is codenamed “Project Champ” and it will feature the same form factor as the Galaxy Fold. Korean publication Ajunews and the founder of Display Supply Chain Consultants, Ross Young, have independently reported that the new device will have a 7.7-inch foldable display. Both sources have also stated that Samsung is testing an under-display front-facing camera for increased immersion.
Samsung has been working on under-display camera technology since at least 2018, though it was Xiaomi and OPPO that first showed working prototypes of the technology to the public. We had the opportunity to see OPPO’s prototype for ourselves at the company’s Inno Day event in December, but we haven’t seen any progress from Xiaomi. Xiaomi, though, believes that the technology is far from mass-production, which means that Samsung’s introduction of the tech in the next Galaxy Fold would be a major breakthrough. However, the next Galaxy Fold could be available in limited quantities and will very likely carry a hefty price tag, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a trial of under-display camera technology in such a device.
Ultra-thin glass (UTG) from Schott is their best hope then. First on Galaxy Z Flip. Then on Galaxy Fold 2 which is now known as Project Champ and should come mid-year. It will fold out to 7.7” but will be quite a bit more expensive than the more portable clamshells…
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) January 29, 2020
Other rumored improvements compared to the first generation Galaxy Fold include the improved hinge design and Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass technology for the foldable display, both of which were included in the recently-launched Galaxy Z Flip. We should also expect newer internal hardware such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and/or Exynos 990 processor. The rumored Galaxy Fold 2 is expected to launch by July of this year at the latest, according to both sources.