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Samsung patents folding L-shaped smartphone

LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator )

Samsung has filled a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization (opens in new tab) for an L-shaped smartphone which features a folding display that opens out sideways. The sideways opening part of the display then wraps around towards the back of the phone, putting it into a closed position. 

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator )
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Details contained in the patent filing include a two-part battery, and that the folding display would be made of Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass, as seen to great effect on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3

It’s certainly an interesting prospect and now thanks to LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) and Concept Creator we can see renders of what the phone could look like. 

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator )
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How would it work? 

From the patented design and renders, we can imagine the potential smartphone would allow use it upright or sideways and that the auxiliary display flap would then open to the left or top, depending on orientation. 

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator )
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According to the patent’s drawings, there is a triple-camera setup and LED flash, but exact details aren’t divulged. As the screen folds backwards, this would open up the possibility of this part of the display potentially being used as a viewfinder for the smartphone’s rear cameras.

We haven’t seen a Samsung phone featuring an outward folding hinge before and indeed this would look to be one of the biggest design challenges with a design like this. The folding hinge would have to be on the inside of the device, with the screen wrapping around it, so it would take up some space – so, we can assume this would be the reason for the dual-battery. 

While this is exciting and certainly something different from the norm, we must mention that phone companies, indeed technology companies in general, often file patents for devices that never go onto production. Only time will tell if Samsung goes ahead to produce a foldable L-shaped smartphone. 

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Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.