Samsung has confirmed its first foldable smartphone, which contains a second flexible display that opens out from within the device to offer a tablet-sized display.
Called the Galaxy Fold, the new device has a 4.6-inch smartphone screen but can then be opened out to reveal a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex display that can show up to three apps at one time.
The US$1 980 device will also enable users to switch between screens while using the same app and houses six cameras.
The announcement marks the first major smartphone manufacturer to enter the foldable phone market.
Samsung’s Justin Denison said the Galaxy Fold is “unlike any device that has come before it” and the company has worked on creating “meaningful breakthroughs” in the smartphone industry.
The firm also unveiled a trio of new flagship phones, including one with enough storage to hold more than 300 000 photos.
The Korean company’s new Galaxy S10 and S10+ both also come with a triple camera system on the rear of the phone.
Samsung also introduced a new screen called the Infinity-O display, in which the the front-facing cameras on all three devices are built directly into the screen rather than using the “notch” system popular on other devices.
The tech giant’s third new Galaxy S phone, the S10e, is positioned as a more compact version of the S10, with a smaller 5.8-inch screen and more modest specifications.
The top of the line S10+ will be one of the first modern smartphones to come with 1TB of internal storage space — enough to hold more than 300 000 photos.
It also has a microSD card slot, which can support up to an additional 512GB of storage.
Its 6.4-inch display contains dual front-facing cameras and features an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor built into the screen.
All three new phones also support Samsung’s new Wireless PowerShare charging feature, which enables S10 devices to charge other smartphones by placing them back-to-back.
Mobile phone expert Ru Bhikha from uSwitch.com said Samsung’s new range offered enough diversity to be a success.
“Samsung has responded to the rise of consumer handset apathy by pulling not just one, but several, rabbits out of the hat at this year’s Unpacked event,” he said.
“Whereas the 10th anniversary of the iPhone last year drew criticism for making minor improvements that some believed couldn’t justify its price tag, Samsung has made sure to perceptibly raise its game in nearly every respect.
“From wireless power charging and in-screen fingerprint sensors to the hole punch camera — killing off the notch — the Galaxy S10 looks, and acts, like a different beast to its predecessor.
“While these elements have all appeared in different handsets over the last year, it’s significant to see the world’s biggest manufacturer bringing them all together in one place in what is essentially a ‘mainstreaming’ of these well-received features.”