Smartphones of the Future - A Glimpse into Foldable Phones!

Staff Writer / 23-05-2019 / News

The recent launch of Huawei’s new Mate X folding smartphone shortly after the debut of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold in 2019 serves as a milestone for design in mobile aesthetics. Numerous other smartphone manufacturers have also filed patents that show their intention to release foldable phones.

Foldable-screen smartphones are clearly the new design trend, offering users the option switch from a standard smartphone display into a small tablet; but, how did mobile phone design get to this stage?

The proverbial “brick” cell phone laid the foundation, leading to smaller devices with colour displays before a built-in camera became a mobile standard. Shortly after, manufacturers shifted direction for larger displays and slate form factors to accommodate a screen aspect ratio that made watching videos and playing mobile games easier. Most recently, smartphone manufacturers introduced the ‘notch’ to design to offer users even more screen by slicing into the corners to create a larger screen-to-body ratio, but it seems the obsession with bigger screens has just become more intense, and the foldable phone seems to be answer.

The good news about the foldable smartphone trend is that South Africans won’t have to wait too long for these devices to reach our shores. It is expected that South Africa will get its first folding screen smartphones from both Huawei and Samsung in the third quarter of 2019.

While both manufacturer’s devices are foldable phones, they each have distinct features. The Samsung Galaxy Fold features two displays. The cover display is 4.6 inches, which then opens up into a 7.3-inch tablet display. This leaves a very large bezel around the cover display, with the cameras on the back.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s Mate X smartphone features a single display using the so-called “Falcon Wing” mechanism, meaning the screen folds the opposite way to the screen on the Samsung Galaxy Fold. When closed, the device offers two displays, one on the front and one on the back. Each display is 6.6 inches large, and when opened, offers an incredible 8-inch tablet screen.

Although Samsung and Huawei are going head-to-head in the folding screen smartphone space, online speculation is that Apple has filed a patent for a folding iPhone and w ill soon be joining the competition. If rumours are to be believed, the folding iPhone may trump both Asian counterparts with the introduction of a three-display foldable smartphone, offering two displays on the cover like the Mate X but opening up like the Galaxy Fold.

Manufacturers have shied away from revealing SA pricing, but given the cost of the current generation of flagship phones, we don’t expect that foldable phones will be cheap.

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