A foldable smartphone with a flexible display and removable camera. Samsung was granted a U.S. patent last week for an innovative hybrid device, that mixes a foldable phone with a mirrorless DSLR camera. Foldable News has the pictures.
The device has a dual hinge, allowing it to fold in three parts. The upper part has a secondary display on the front and is larger than the lower part, which has two control keys. On the backside, a lens mount is visible. When the lens is removed, the mount is flush with the phone body (picture below).
But when a lens is attached, it protrudes from the device. The patent describes how the internal camera and the detachable lens together can act as a stereoscopic 3D camera. Samsung describes how the lens mount can also be used to attach the phone to a bicycle, a vehicle interior, or a smart wearable device.
The original patent application dates back to 2015 when Samsung was already testing various flexible display solutions with their Youm-project and registered this concept in Korea. The U.S. patent was granted on March 5, 2019. Recently Samsung announced their first commercially available foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold.
It’s not the first time that Samsung combines a camera and smartphone. The Galaxy NX (picture above) was a failed attempt to mix the two. It turned out to be the worst of both worlds. Another device, the Galaxy S4 (picture below) tried to marry a compact-camera with an Android phone. Consumers thought it was too bulky for a phone and it suffered from lacklustre sales. If a new attempt, with a foldable display, will be eventually successful (should it come to market) remains to be seen.