Listing to a term “Folding smartphones” is cool and there’s no doubt about that. But are they “worth it”. A phone should be practical, reliable, safe, and affordable. All current folding smartphones seems to have contradiction with that:
There are many companies who already launched foldable phones such as:
- Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is impressive from almost every angle, the Galaxy Z Flip features a clamshell design, a 6.7-inch display and dual 12-megapixel rear cameras. It is the company’s second foldable phone after the $2,000 Galaxy Fold.
- Motorola Razr
Razr has a nostalgia-inducing “flip” phone design, a 6.2-inch screen, Android 9, a 16-megapixel camera and a fingerprint reader.
- Huawei Mate X
In the trends of foldable phones and 5G, Huawei’s’s Mate X has both. It has a 6.6-inch display when folded closed and an 8-inch OLED screen when you flip it open. And it features 5G connectivity that’s said to be four times faster than 4G.
- Royole FlexPai 2 has been confirmed to launch in 2020.
This phone has a flexible keyboard that rolls into your pocket.
- TCL: has been confirmed and it is expected to launch in 2020.
TCL’s new foldable device is a $500 5G phone and this phone is gorgeous and bears striking resemblance to Samsung Galaxy S10.
- Xiaomi Dual Flex or Mix Flex: Confirmed for launch this year.
Chinese phone maker Xiaomi introduced its foldable phone on the social media platform Weibo. Unlike other phones we have seen, which only bend down the middle, Xiaomi’s phone folds down into thirds, with both sides folding down.
- Nubia Alpha: Available now in market.
This phone is unique in a way that it wraps around its user’s wrist, similar to a smart watch. This device was priced at $449 and now it’s been discounted for $299 which is a decent deal.
Now let’s talk about practical outcomes of having foldable phones. Foldable phones can be gauged for their performance in following parameters:
Practicality: foldable mobile devices are thick and heavy. It doesn’t fit into purse or pockets well. Some folding phones also suffer having a tiny gap at the hinge that make it feel like a miniature Surface Book, and that looks like even less practical. The ones that don’t have that gap fold outward, but it comes with its fair share of issues, namely the display is always facing out. And since folding smartphone screens have to be plastic, scratches and indents are inevitable. Which is not a practical feature for such an expensive phone.
Reliability: The Samsung Galaxy Fold, had reliability issues at launch. Tiny dust entering the display from the hinges could break the display. The Royole Flexpai has software issues pertaining to the folding and unfolding procedure, and the rubber finish on the hinge is extremely prone to tearing. And, again with the plastic displays of all foldable smartphones, scratches and indents could be a frequent occurrence.
Safety: In almost all foldable smartphones, the battery is in both halves of the device and some devices even tell you to keep it unfolded while charging, which suggests that there may be safety issues when charging a folded device. All evidence suggests that these devices are very sensitive to power supply systems.
Affordability: biggest concern of all the issues laid out above; foldable smartphones are definitely not premium devices. And yet they are super expensive and prices start at $1500, which is the same price for the most feature packed Samsung Galaxy Note series and go all the way up to $2000+. Definitely not pocket friendly and yet the features are set hardly up to the price.