As a result, I can say for a fact that tech fans are absolutely nutsoid for the Samsung Galaxy X, aka Samsung’s folding phone. If you’re not familiar with it, the Galaxy X is (or will be) a phone that seamlessly folds out into something more like a tablet. By ‘seamlessly’ I mean, ‘there isn’t a bloody great hinge down the middle like a Nintendo Game & Watch’ – the screen itself folds.Certainly, Galaxy X is an interesting idea, but that’s not the reason that ‘the internet is going crazy over this’ (as they say). It’s because it doesn’t exist. Well, not yet anyway.
Unfold the future Forthcoming tech you haven’t seen yet is always more exciting than tech that is in that more boring state called ‘actually existing’. That’s because your mind can think of all sorts of crazy features that might be in it, and you conjure up something that is personalised to you. You see the same phenomena to a much more intense degree when fans go crazy about films – Star Wars films primarily – before they come out. Online fan theories and plot demands run riot for months, and minor characters are fleshed out into plotchanging avatars of the fans’ feverish imaginations. Then the actual movie debuts and everyone goes, ‘This isn’t what we imagined at all! Let’s boycott this film!’ Admittedly, a lot of these ‘fans’ are mad racists and misogynists. But not all of them. Some are normal people who just got giddy with excitement at the literally infinite possibilities offered by things that do not really exist yet, but will quite soon.
Tech fans are generally less vocal than film fans (other than in the whole ‘Apple vs Android’ war, of course, but let’s not go there),but the massive number of readers for even the tiniest nugget of info on Samsung’s folding phone told us that there was huge interest in the Galaxy X. It’s interest that grew and grew as its rumoured unveiling day approached. Seriously, we almost broke the internet, there was that much traffic for Galaxy X stories. However, Samsung may now have gone and ballsed all this up. How? By actually showing the phone, at its developer conference.
Firstly, it wasn’t actually called Galaxy X, which is a really cool name. In fact it wasn’t called anything, because it’s really not all that near to being finished. We do at least know that the folding screen tech used in the Phone Formerly Known as Galaxy X is called the Infinity Flex Display, so that’s at least slightly cool. What did it look like? Kind of like a phone that folded out, like a Nintendo Game & Watch. You could almost feel the internet deflating as it appeared, albeit momentarily, on stage. We all suddenly thought, ‘Oh, is that it? And anyway, what do you do with a phone that folds out into a midsized tablet?’ Someone on the T3 Twitter feed summed it up rather succinctly with Jeff Goldblum’s line from Jurassic Park: “They were so preoccupied with whether they could, they never stopped to think if they should.” Luckily, the reveal was over almost before it began, and there’s still plenty of time for us all to think what the hell to do with the Galaxy X before it really really exists, and makes its way onto the shelves in Carphone Warehouse. But whatever the finished product is like, it’ll never be as good as the phones in our vapourware dreams. How could it be?