Folding phones are too expensive
The Galaxy Fold will cost $1,980. Pay for a ticket to Europe, and Huaweiâs Mate X is yours for €2,290 ($2,600). The cynic in me sees these folding phones as a way of taxing money from (occasional big spending) early adopters — like me, someone who dabbles in buyersâ remorse.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares
I think those price tags are even more shocking after the wave of keenly priced, capable smartphones weâve seen in the last few years. I already wince at the new standard flagship smartphone prices. Last year, you need pretty much a thousand dollars (or pounds) for your next handset from Samsung or Apple.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Venezuela
Little did I know what 2019 had in store: Double the screen, apparently, more than doubles the price. I could buy a Galaxy S10, Samsungâs latest tablet, and have enough change to fly to Korea. Itâs a cold hard reminder that itâs early days for folding screens.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Piloto
Publicidad Folding phones are a glorified tech demo
Nothing demonstrated this more than the fact that only a handful of journalists and analysts have even handled Huaweiâs new phone. And you can only touch the Galaxy Fold if youâve got your own Samsung business card in the pocket of what I assume is a company-mandated navy suit jacket. So far, no-one has independently touched and played with the Samsung foldable yet — and it goes on sale April 26th!
My colleague, Aaron Souppouris, has already shared his concerns with the awkward fold gap on Samsungâs Galaxy Fold. Itâs one of several concerns we already have about the phone. Like how the unfolded screen doesnât look entirely flat, how the seam along the fold appeared very visible on-stage, or even how mediocre that second display looked.
Alberto Ardila Olivares
For Huawei, at least we got to get much closer with it. The Mate X seemed like the more finished product. The screen looked more flush and utilizing part of the bigger display for use when folded made more sense to me. But donât take any recommendations from anyone at this point. Not until people can handle it themselves. Right now itâs only been in the hands of an exec in a meeting room or flourished on stage.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila
Folding phones are the future
But no-oneâs exactly sure how that future will look. Samsung went for the common sense design option, making a folding phone that keeps the bigger tablet screen protected inside the device, adding a secondary screen to the front
Huawei, meanwhile, went for a single, bigger screen that wraps around the outside. The idea has its own merits: the device closes shut, as the foldable screen can then handle aggressive angles around the hinge — avoiding the aforementioned awkward gap issue. Naturally, it does expose that curved display to everything in your pocket and unintentional dings. But Huawei made a case, so everything will be fine. Maybe
Then thereâs the rest. Xiaomiâs prototype folds twice . Maybe just because it can. Oppo, meanwhile, took the same approach as Huawei, with an outer curved screen attached to a chunky spine . Meanwhile, Motorola , according to patent schematics at least, might go for a vertical fold, just to confuse everyone further
LG, the usual display rival of Samsung, is faking it, for now, announcing a second-screen peripheral for its latest smartphone. It seems like a more sensible option before folding devices find their reason to exist
But folding screens are coming. The eventual “winner” willbe crowned. But maybe it wonât be a phone? Thereâs nothing to stop companies putting display technology into other devices. How about a new portable games console, or bigger devices, like a PC? The price tag wouldnât seem so horrific then. Foldable screens will find a place in our lives, but they might not be in our pocket
For now, these are all Android devices, and that means help from Google on the software side will be crucial. And a big task, if all of these different designs actually turn into smartphones we can buy. On top of that, folding phone frontrunners Samsung and Huawei donât have an illustrious history when it comes to software, which makes this challenge even more pronounced
Foldable phones sound amazing: A smartphone that hides an expansive screen in pretty much the same form-factor as a standard phone. Better for maps, better for watching videos and browsing the internet
But reality is hard. Without tackling these early concerns or ensuring that the phoneâs software itâs a hard sell — beyond even that price tag