The Foldable Phone Era Has Begun

*Updated on 5/14/19

First, the brick phone, then the flip phone, and now, the foldable phone. A new cell phone era is upon us as phone companies are releasing foldable phones. However, how long will list era last? Honestly, it depends on how this cell phone technology performs and how long it takes to perfect it. In the meanwhile, smartphone companies like Xiaomi and Samsung, have or are planning on coming out with foldable phones in the near future.

The First Foldable Phone – Royole FlexPai

Just because this is the first foldable phone, doesn’t mean it’s the best. Cell phone enthusiasts have mixed feelings about Royole’s FlexPai. This product officially came out in Beijing on October 31, 2018. The key points Royole focuses on with this product are that the flexible screen is virtually unbreakable, that it can be used as a phone and tablet, and that the screen resolution is amazing. However, people who’ve tested this foldable phone say that it’s quite bulky and that sometimes the screen goes unresponsive when folding it.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold

On April 26th, Samsung was set to release the Galaxy Fold. But the launch was put on hold after review units released exhibited problems with the screen breaking. On May 9th in an interview with the Korean Herald, DJ Koh said the company had resolved the issues with the Galaxy Fold’s screen and announced a new release date was imminent. The starting retail price is $1,980. It will have a 7.3-inch screen when open and a 4.6-inch screen when folded. The phone uses Samsung’s newly designed Infinity Flex display that allows it to transform from a phone into a tablet. The hinge system in the spine lets it fold in when switching to protect the screen. Samsung has been optimizing apps to run smoothly and continuously when changing modes. Transitions look clean from the videos they’ve released, but testing has been limited.

Xiaomi’s Mi Dual Flex

Xiaomi recently released a video of the company’s founder, Lin Bin, using Xiaomi’s up and coming foldable phone. The name of it hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Mi Dual Flex or Mi Mix Flex are being considered. Instead of the phone folding in half like the FlexPai, the two sides fold down. This would definitely make this new tech more user-friendly.

Huawei Mate X

Huawei’s folding phone has debuted at $2,600. The Mate X comes with a hefty price tag, but may just be worth every penny with all the features it boasts. Unfolded, the Mate X has the display of an 8-inch tablet. Once folded you have two screens, a front facing screen 6.6-inch and a 6.4-inch panel on the back.

The screen can also double as a mirror when you take a photo. The Mate X has a sophisticated camera with a compact hand-held bar design. The re-designed Leica Camera System perfectly balances the pursuit of a slim body and comfortable grip. On the back with a futuristic Interstellar blue, a new material is adopted to allow uninterrupted 5G signal. The folded Mate X is just 11mm thin, with no gap in between screens so it easily fits in a pocket!

Motorola RAZR V4

Motorola plans to resurrect its legendary RAZR in the form of a foldable phone. According the Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, a foldable screen may be the key to reintroduce the RAZR.  A really compact flip phone that expands into a full screen similar to the 6.5-inch phones we have today. A mockup has already been made and patents have been spotted on the World Intellectual Property Office database. Motorola has no intention of coming in later than everybody else to the market, according to Motorola Vice President of Global Product Dan Dery.  

Who will be next to the market with this foldable phone trend? What will the next phone era be? Holographic phones perhaps? I can’t wait to test out these new phones once they are released!

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