Finally, we’re getting foldable smartphones!. Excited?. But have you ever thought why?. Folding smartphones are gradually becoming a reality. Past couple of months there were sort of murmurings of folding smartphones in tech news sites but nothing actually came into reality, we have seen flexible AMOLED displays in the past but those weren’t really functional devices.

A couple of days ago where Samsung was about to launch their first foldable smartphone as the first company to do it, a pretty much unknown company called “Royole Corporation” came up with a working prototype of a foldable smartphone “Royole Flexpai” – World first flexible smartphone. From the usage footages, the device doesn’t look promising but rather an ugly and folding for namesake. It looked uncomfortable to hold, folding and unfolding is a tough job, graphics were flickering while you try to it and moreover you’ll feel like breaking the device when you do it. Making things worse when we get to hear the price. 1300 USD for the 128 GB version!. Not looking promising but we’ll know more once it comes out in the market.

On November 5th, on the stage of the developer conference, Samsung unveiled their version of the flexible smartphone. Its called the Infinity Flex display. We can open and close the device from a tablet-sized display to a phone-sized display which already looked better than the FlexPai. This looks cool, a smartphone that can be folded and unfolded to resize the display – but there the question comes. Why would we want that every day? But the product shown in the developer conference is an unfinished product, with large bezels and Samsung says they’re going to launch it for the customers the first generation folding smartphones in 2019. Around the same time, we also heard Google announcing Android is going to support folding displays natively which feels some overhead to the hardware companies is moving over especially in the graphics department.

Samsung Infinity Flex

Samsung Infinity Flex

 

Even if companies make it to the market, why you’d want to purchase a foldable smartphone? What will be the pros and cons of these devices?

Foldable smartphone pros

Let’s look at the advantages first.

  • Flexible form factor

Based on the device manufacturers innovation, a folding smartphone can be folded twice or thrice. A phone that folds into the shape of a wallet but still has a tablet-sized display will give immense mobility and convenience.

  • Bigger workspace

The number one reason why you switch from your smartphone to laptop is that you don’t have enough space on the screen to play with. Folding display smartphones will solve this problem up to an extent. Think about opening a document for editing on one part of the screen and the keyboard and tool box on another half.

  • Extra space for hardware

As the phone gets bigger, there is going to be more room for the hardware. Manufacturers can cram in bigger batteries and powerful processors that need even cooling into a foldable smartphone easily.

Cons

Talking about the disadvantages:

  • A Heavy smartphone

As the display size increases there is going to be needed a bigger battery and additional hardware to run the system. This will make the folding smartphone thick and heavy. If you want each side to be thin and small bezels, it will require paper-thin batteries and other components. This would require the manufacturing process to be upgraded and will result in an increase in the cost of the product.

  • Prone to defects

As the foldable displays provide certain advantages, it comes with the price of increasing the complexity of the device overall, from design to electronics. This means there can always more chance to get a defective product than a normal smartphone.

  • Pricier

As the complexity of the smartphone increases, manufacturers will be putting more efforts to build a folding smartphone, clearly, the price will stay high at least for the first few generations.

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