Samsung Electronics on Wednesday unveiled a nearly US$2,000 folding smartphone that doubles as a tablet, in what would be the most expensive phone on the market.
The Galaxy Fold will go on sale on April 26 and take advantage of new and faster 5G mobile networks.
The device looks similar to a conventional smartphone, but then opens like a book to reveal a display the size of a small tablet at 7.3 inches, Reuters reports.
The device “answers skeptics who said that everything that could be done has been done,” DJ Koh, chief executive of Samsung Electronics, was quoted as saying at an event in San Francisco.
“We are here to prove them wrong.”
With the foldable phone, Samsung is trying to take the technology lead on two fronts in the smartphone race, offering an eye-catching new feature with the big, bending screen and the first 5G connection in a premium phone, a feature analysts do not expect Apple to match until 2020, Reuters noted.
It also challenges the notion of what a phone can cost, debuting at nearly twice the price of current top-of-the-line models from Apple and Samsung itself.
Samsung also introduced several accessories to compete against Apple, including a pair of wireless headphones called Galaxy Buds. The headphones include wireless charging, a feature that Apple has promised to put into is competing AirPods but has not yet released.
The company also said that its new Galaxy phones will be able to wirelessly charge its headphones and new smartwatches by setting the accessories on the back of the phone.
Samsung said it had developed new manufacturing processes for the phone’s hinge and flexible display to tolerate opening and closing hundreds of thousands of times.
Along with the folding phone, Samsung also added new cameras and a 5G version to its Galaxy series of phones.
The Galaxy 10 series feature four models including a 5G version.
All of the Galaxy series of rigid phones except the 5G will be available from March 8, with the S10+ priced from US$1,000, the S10 priced from US$900 and the smaller S10e from US$750.
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