The Samsung foldable phone is here (Wait, why do I want one?)

A tantalizing glimpse was all Samsung gave. It was still enough to make one ponder.

samfold.jpg

When it's open, it's a tablet.

Screenshot ZDNet

He just pulled it out of his inside jacket pocket, as if this was just another little thing he carried around with him all the time.

And there it was.

What is the core excitement here? The sheer relief that it's possible to have a phone that folds?

Well, what, exactly? A camouflaged phone created to show off Samsung's Infinity Flex Display, the fancy wording for the company's new foldable phone.

CNET: Samsung's foldable phone is real and opens into a tablet

Samsung's SVP of Mobile Product Marketing, Justin Denison, was effusive at yesterday's Samsung Developer Conference.

He used creative phrases such as "taking it to the next level" and "big milestone." He insisted he was "honored" to reveal this whole new generation of smartphones.

And then he held the phone up and unfolded it. At least one gasp was heard.

"When it's open, it's a tablet offering a big screen experience," said Denison.

Well, a big square-screen experience from the prototype he was holding.

"When it's closed, it's a phone that fits neatly inside your pocket," he added. So it seemed, as he slipped it away again and said "thank you," as if he'd just pulled off a next-level magic trick.

I started wondering why I'd want one of these things. Meanwhile Denison explained that it would "help you browse, watch, connect and multitask like never before."

It's the "never before" part I'm currently struggling with. If this is, as Denison intimated, a sort of all-in-one phone and tablet, I'll surely be browsing, watching, connecting and multitasking exactly as I did before.

And frankly, when I look at the iPhone XS Max, isn't that an all-in-one phone and tablet? It's certainly close.

Denison explained that Samsung had invented new materials and thrown out old assumptions.

Technically, there's glory inside. Practically, however, why would you buy it?

Denison said the full display was 7.3 inches. Which means when it's folded, the smartphone itself is really quite small. I thought small smartphones were passé. Didn't Apple discontinue the iPhone SE?

But then Denison got to it. He wants developers to help Samsung create something beautiful. He's excited by the idea that you can run three apps at the same time.

Are you excited? Is this something you need? I'm not sure I do.

What, then, is the core excitement here? The sheer form of it? The sheer relief that it's possible to have a phone that folds?

Of course, this isn't the finished product. I can't help thinking, however, this isn't a foldable phone at all. It's a foldable tablet. It's a way of carrying a bigger screen in your pocket without having to buy enormous cargo pants.

It's clearly something Android manufacturers intend to push. Google is in the fold.

And you, well, you just want something new and cool, don't you? Something that doesn't look like an iPhone.

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