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Monday, March 25, 2019
DAVAO

Masbad: Phones that fold

Wacky Tech

NOPE, not the kind back in early 2000. I miss those, by the way. I used to have the Motorola RAZR.

Anyway, the race to out the first commercially available foldable smartphone is definitely on. Just recently, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Fold. And by the looks of it, it looks like Samsung may have a winner in the Fold. But we can’t say for sure yet until the other big brands will release their own take on the foldable phone form factor. And based on a report published by T3, there’s definitely room for more players in the game.

For now thought, it looks like Samsung is on the lead. That unveiled Galaxy Fold is not some concept phone, they’re actually releasing it for sale. And at US$1,980 each, that’s way pricier than the iPhone XS Max. Well, considering that you’re practically getting three phones in terms of total screen real estate, it probably is reasonably priced. Unfortunately, that’s way beyond mere mortals like you and me. The closest I’d probably be to the Galaxy Fold is if or when demo units are going to be displayed in Samsung concept stores.

Going back to the Motorola RAZR. It would seem that Motorola’s take on the foldable phone is based on the original RAZR form factor as reported by The Verge. It’ll be a clamshell design but will contain a full screen underneath. If you’ve owned a RAZR back then, you know what I’m talking about. If they’re able to pull that off beautifully, and execute the OS properly as well, I’d be thinking about getting one for myself. I see the benefits already. A form factor that’s maybe half as tall as an iPhone or a Huawei P20 Pro. Flip it open and you get a bigger phone with all the display.

So far though, what I’m seeing design-wise is that most manufacturers are opting for the usual vertical, tablet form factor. They’re basically just adding a hinge on the height of the phone, slap a bigger display to cover the width when unfolded and that’s it. The decision to stay within that form factor might probably be because of the fact that that form factor is ubiquitous already and is familiar to everyone. However, I wouldn’t say that the clamshell form factor is something to entirely dismiss and shrug off.

The clamshell form factor is a deviant, if you ask me. It’s something that’s definitely new as a form factor for phones with the display technologies that we currently have. It’s not your small LCD screen of old anymore. Physical keyboards and number pads are not a thing anymore. Touch screen is the name of the game. Folding such screens and maintaining a high level of user interactivity whether folded or unfolded is a priority as well. With that in mind, it’s going to be an interesting battle of all these brands vying for your attention and money for their foldable phones.

Exciting times ahead this year. Exciting times.


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