Foldable Phones: Still More of a Miss Than a Hit

Today, the entire smartphone world is quite stagnant. No true innovation is taking place. One manufacturer pushes in a new camera module while the other amps up the battery specs. There isn’t much going on to the essence of the concept of smartphones. The only area which does play a good role in the innovations division is that of foldable smartphones that are starting to appear.

While many lower-tier devices showed up, the first proper entry was from Samsung and their Galaxy Fold. The device which held so much promise and yet failed miserably. Today, yes, you can buy the device but the initial stigma attached to it, due to its screen issues does put it slightly in the dust. Now though, we have a new wave of devices. These include the Moto Razr (2020) and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

Unlike previous iterations, this new wave of devices isn’t making phone size devices to open up and be tablets. Instead, they’re creating a phone based on modern standards, be as small as possible. I personally like this approach much better. While, right now, this does feel like the future, its really the case. Everything feels quite raw about these devices.

The Current State of Foldable Phones

Starting at the Moto Razr, the device’s main attraction is the flip screen. The quality of that screen though, not the best thing on this planet. Perhaps we cannot expect much from a plastic screen either. Most of the research and development is done on making sure the flip mechanism stays intact. The screen doesn’t have the brightest or the most contrasty look. Nor is it the most elegant looking display out there. The internals aren’t great either. A sub-par processor paired with an okay if not underpowered battery: the phone barely peaks any interest to users.

Then comes the story of the recent release, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Aesthetically this phone trumps the Moto Razr. It is quite refined and polished. The device packs much better internals and a camera which is leaps ahead. As for the display, the device uses a glass panel instead of a plastic one. This is one of Samsung’s main selling points. That and the fact that it has fixed all the issues that were there on the Galaxy Fold.

Issues

The issue comes with these devices not long after though. Starting at the quality of the screens. These devices are not rugged, whatsoever. If you think you can manage to treat them the same way you treat your other devices, you are mistaken. Youtuber JerryRigEverything covers both devices in separate videos. While the Razr’s display is plastic, even Z Flip’s screen didn’t do well with his scratch test. Not only that but the Z Flip was scratching just as easily as the Razr’s plastic display. The video is linked here for you to watch. The Z Flip brings more disappointment to the table with its wrinkle in the middle. We saw it on the Fold and now on this device. At least in this regard, the Razr fairs much better.

https://twitter.com/mondoir/status/1228355380528451584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1228355380528451584&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2F9to5google.com%2F2020%2F02%2F17%2Fcold-weather-galaxy-z-flip-moto-razr%2F

Another issue as pointed out in an article on 9to5Google was that the screens were malfunctioning under cold weather conditions. While one person reported that his Razr’s screen was peeling off from one corner, another reported that his Z Flip has cracked from the wrinkle in the middle. Both cases related to the cold wind chills of New York.

Conclusion

While yes, these futuristic devices do open up a plethora of possibilities for the devices to come, the current state isn’t one to spend thousands of dollars on (yes, these are very expensive devices). Perhaps both companies would refer to these issues in order to resolve them in the coming future. One way to think about this is that this is just a learning curve for the companies. With time, they’d be able to perfect the foldable technology, mitigating all these issues one by one.

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Sarmad Burki


Sarmad Burki is a Mathematician and a Economist with a passion for all things gaming and tech. His academics and professional experience combined with tech and gaming adds to his skills giving him a unique ability to observe the tech and gaming industry from various prespectives.
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