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Foldable Smartphones
Tathagata Das

Foldable Smartphones : A Revolution In The Smartphone Industry

Benefit of a small and large device at one place

Today in our 21st century with each and every people living their own busy lives, are bound to have a smartphone carrying in their pocket. Isn't it so?

Maybe you are also viewing this content in a smartphone. What if I say to you that you don't need to carry bigger smartphones anymore to fulfill your all content consumption needs. Yes, you heard it right.

Think of a circumstance where your smartphone is as compact as the palm of your hand, perfect for one handed use, yet when you are opting for media consumption, take for example Youtube, you can simply extend your smartphone to the size of a tablet for better viewing experience. It's not a dream anymore, with new technologies emerging then and now, Foldable Smartphones are a thing now.

What we call a foldable smartphone?:

A foldable smartphone is a form factor of a smartphone, which allows access to a larger, tablet-like display when needed by unfolding the device, whilst maintaining a similar footprint and functionality to a standard smartphone when folded (typically along a vertical axis). The screen may either wrap around to the back of the device when folded (as with the Royale Flexpai and Huawei Mate X), or use a booklet-like design where the larger, folded screen is located on the interior, and a screen on its "Cover" allows the user to interact with the device without opening it (such as the Samsung launched its first foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold).


Royole FlexPai

Royole FlexPai


Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro-Source(Wikipedia)



History

The time ever when the foldable screen came into the picture was back on 2008, when Nokia presented animated concepts of a flexible device it dubbed "Morph", which had a tri-fold design that could be bent into various forms, such as a large unfolded device, a feature phone-sized unit, and a smart wristband.

Nokia Morph

Source: Wikipedia

After that several other companies came with this foldable screen concept along with adding features like dual touchscreen, a secondary display and much more. But these were all just mere rip off to the original concept, rather trying to gimmick the real deal.


Present

Some well reputed mobile manufacturer like Huawei , Samsung, Motorola, Oppo are constantly putting their research and development efforts in foldable phone technology.

In January 2019, Xiaomi CEO Lin Bin published a video on Sina Weibo, featuring him demonstrating a prototype smartphone with two flaps capable of being folded inward. Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Fold during its media event at Mobile World Congress in February 2019. Alongside the Galaxy Fold, the convention also saw other foldable phones being unveiled or teased, such as the Huawei Mate X, and TCL presenting various prototype concepts featuring its "DragonHinge" technology (including a bracelet-styled device).


TCL's new foldable

TCL's new foldable smartphone

Future

Most popular smartphone company Apple already acquired the foldable phone patents in 2011. But there is no such news of releasing such model in the near future. Well that would an injustice to apple lovers

Apple's foldable smartphone

A concept design of a foldable smartphone from apple

Well, I could certainly say that the future with the foldable smartphone is pretty bright, but for a while now, as it happened with the notch display, it's going to stick with the premium/flagship devices. If you are into the latest and greatest technology then you can certainly cut your wallet, otherwise, it is going to take some time to implement this technology to the mid-range smartphones.

Advantages of foldable smartphone

  • You can carry a big screen in your pocket
  • As the screen adjustable you can use it in its small form when you want
  • Multitasking could be a lot easier as you can leverage big screen of split screen
  • It would be a visual treat for gamers. As many portable gaming consoles like psp and nintendo switch do not provide both large screen and portability
  • Who loves to read a lot and like the devices like Amazon kindle ,can leverage the big screen

Disadvantages of foldable smartphones

  • Foldable smartphones are mostly made of flexible OLED.Each time you bend your device you will lose some hardness in your screen
  • Plastic layer used in these phones are more prone to damages than the glass used in traditional smartphones
  • In unfolded condition screen has minor creases in some phones
  • Every foldable phones has hinge. This could have flexibility issues. Someone feel it very tight and vice versa. Also it exposes internal mechanical devices to damage

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