Why Foldable Smartphones May not be Ready Yet
One of the most trending smartphone features of last year was the notch, or rather the lack of it as we saw the bezels on smartphones grew slimmer and slimmer until there was literally no space for it, ahem Oppo Find X.
Now, we have what seems to be the trend of 2019 – the Foldable smartphone concept. This actually started late 2018 with the Royale’s FlexPai being the first and only smartphone you can actually buy right now as at the time of writing this.
However, since the arrival of the FlexPai smartphone, other smartphone makers have taken up an interest in creating their own foldable smartphone, some of which are Samsung and Xiaomi. With that out of the way, these are the reason you shouldn’t think about getting a foldable smartphone for now.
It’s Still A Concept
The idea of having a smartphone that can bend without having to break in half or damage the display is still a concept at this point, even though we’re starting to see more of it. There are still going to be some flaws and mistakes that’ll definitely need fixing or readjusting to get the foldable smartphone to where it actually usable. Safe to say that pretty much the first set of foldable smart phones we’re going to be seeing are most likely going be somewhat of a prototype – something that’ll need lots and lots of improvement to finally be what expect in terms of an actual “foldable” smartphone.
Much like every other “ground-breaking” new innovation in tech, it always cost a ton of money to implement/produce at the early stages and in turn cost a lot to sell. With starting prices upwards of a $1500 for what I would call a prototype, you’d be better off getting a regular flagship top-notch specs and feature while waiting till it gets mainstream and we begin to see more consumer-friendly prices.
Some foldable smart phones are even reportedly going to cost up $2000 which is just crazy. It’s better to just wait the craze out till more smartphone makers get on board and we see different takes on this foldable tech which also comes with competitive prices, eventually bringing the price to a realistic point.
The issue of Thickness and Weight
Some smartphones are already too thick these days, now imagine double of that on your hands. The goal with foldable smartphones is basically to have a smartphone screen, say 5.0-inch to 6-inch when folded and when unfolded, you get a bigger, tablet-sized display. Now, in the unfolded form, the thickness might just be close to that of a regular smartphone. However, when folded (which it will be most of the times) literally becomes twice as thick.
This can be a problem when handling the device or not being able to fit in your pocket. Also, with the extra thickness inevitably comes the extra weight, especially when folded and you’re trying to use it with one hand. It’s just like trying to carry a tab on one hand – weight-wise.
This isn’t so much an issue but it’s still worth talking about. A big screen requires a bigger battery to keep the lights on for a considerable amount of time, especially if the screen is in Full HD resolution or higher. Now, adding a bigger battery Isn’t going to fix the problem as that will bring about a new problem- weight and thickness.
So there has to be a balance between the two; enough battery to keep the lights on for a good amount of time but not too much that it ends up weighing the phone down or being too thickness that it doesn’t fit in a pocket. I’m really curious as to how smartphone makers will pull this off. Fingers crossed.
The display has always been a delicate part of smartphones. With the sides of the foldable smartphone curved while folded, I hate to even think of what will happen when it drops and lands on it’s sides. Secondly, there isn’t a UI for it yet. Going from a full screen when it is unfolded to the smaller screen when folded will need a lot of ingenuity and as of the time of writing this, Android Haven’t added this feature. However, smartphone makers can do this, or rather add this through their Skin on top the Android operating system.
There are other issues that the foldable smartphone will face like the cost of repairing a broken screen, camera placement on the device and how many time you can fold the device before it starts having issues among others things.
Bottom line is, foldable smartphones are just not ready yet. A lot of work and improvements still have to be done on some aspects of the foldable smart phones, especially the ones listed here before anyone should consider buying it.
What do you all think about the Foldable concept, it is something you can buy or use?