Samsung Forgets Flipping, Starts Folding With New Galaxy Fold Smartphone

Humanity can officially discard books entirely, as Samsung unveils its new phone capable of doing the one thing the ol' paperback still did best -- folding.

The highly anticipated Galaxy Fold -- described as a smartphone and tablet all folded into one -- is set to be released in the first half of 2019, Samsung officials announced overnight in San Francisco.

The device, which the Korean tech giant has been hyping customers up for over recent years, will have an 11.7cm display while folded and an 18.5cm display when opened up, essentially turning it into a tablet.

At a time when true smartphone innovation is becoming harder and harder to come by, Samsung electronics chief executive DJ Koh believes the Fold "breaks new ground".

"It answers sceptics who said that everything that could be done has been done," Koh said.

To achieve the fold, the device combines its Infinity Flex display with a new hinge of multiple interlocking gears hidden at the rear, allowing users to open and close it with that all-important "click".

But it doesn't fold over completely flat, with a slight gap between the two sides.

Three apps will be able to be used simultaneously when unfolded. Image: Kevin Kyburz Twitter

Samsung said it has worked with Google and the Android developer community to tailor apps and services to the Galaxy Fold's new display experience, allowing users to interact with three apps simultaneously when its unfolded.

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Well aware phones should do more than just bend in half, Samsung has gone to town in the camera department.

Six cameras -- three in the back, two on the inside and one on the cover-- will be at the ready no matter "which way you hold or fold" it, the company said.

Complete with two batteries and 12 GB of RAM, it's also one of the most powerful smartphones on the market.

For the tech-inclined, here's a full list of specs.

Image: provided

Unlike its Apple counterpart, the Galaxy Fold's fingerprint scanner is found on the side of the phone, nice and close to your thumb, as opposed to on the front screen.

While it isn't the first smartphone maker to create a foldable device, Samsung is one of the first to make it widely available -- but at what cost?

Answer: a pretty big one.

The Galaxy Fold will set punters back at least $US1980 ($A2760) when it goes on sale in the US on April 26.

An official price and release date hasn't yet been released for Australia, so you may have a little longer to scrape together the cash.

Whether its price tag will hurt sales, as happened with Apple's 10th-anniversary edition iPhone released in 2017, remains to be seen.

The Rest Of The Galaxy

The Samsung Unpacked event also saw the announcement of the Galaxy smartphone's 10th iteration -- the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus.

Picking up where the S9 and S9 Plus left off, they were also joined by a new, more affordable Galaxy S10E model.

The three phones will be available for preorder on Friday and will begin shipping on March 8.

Alongside the new phone parade, Samsung also trotted out its new wireless earbuds to compete with Apple's AirPods.

Yes, the Galaxy Buds are here so people can worry about losing an earphone of an entirely different brand.

Image: Getty

According to Samsung, the buds offer up to six hours of Bluetooth streaming and up to five hours of calls per charge.

"Galaxy Buds integrate with Bixby on the latest Galaxy mobile devices, so you can activate your intelligent assistant quickly without ever picking up your phone," Samsung said.

"Simply use your voice to make calls, send text messages or check the battery life of your earbuds."