Do you really NEED a folding screen phone?
Ahh when the tech industry solves a problem no one actually has and then makes it seem like we need. That is how I feel about this latest Folding Screen Phone trend which is all the rage.
From the BIG BRICK to the color display, to the smallest possible and then back up to a Phablet size. Is this the next phone evolution?
Do you really have a NEED for a folding screen phone?
I truly wonder how many people are walking around with their phone and say to themselves “boy, I wish the screen was even larger…but only for a few minutes”
Well, apparently there is enough of this kind of thinking that many cell phone manufacturers are about to unveil their folding screen phone.
Samsung has confirmed that it will have a Galaxy X or the Galaxy F and should be unveiled in March 2019. At the Samsung developers conference, there was a dark and quick glimpse of the phone. It looked like a 4 or a 4.5 inch screen opening up to less than double the width so around 7inch screen (?).
Xiaomi showcased their folding phone on Weibo, the Chinese social media platform. This is by far the best implementation of the folding screen as the screen actually folds into three. There is no model name, but two possiblities are Dual Flex or MIX Flex.
Huawei has also announced that they are in the Folding Phone game but since Huawei is still fighting with the US government, the odds of that making it to the US are slim. However, Huawei is available in over 100 countries around the world, so depending on the inner workings, it might be compatible with some US networks.
Other manufacturers are rumored to be experimenting with folding phones including Apple which has filed a patent but nothing leaked. Yet.
I expect there might be some interesting announcements at this year’s Mobile World Congress which is the annual mobile-focused show in Barcelona, Spain.
The folding phone cons and pros:
The pros is finally the unbreakable screen. No more walking around with a phone screen that has pieces of Gorilla glass missing and you can barely make out the text beneath the cracks. I wonder if this tech will be handed down to non-folding phones or is there way too much money to be made on screen repairs? hmmmm…
There is also something to be said for sitting on a plane watching a movie on a larger screen which then folds away when its time to land.
eh…yeah…I am still not seeing a light-bulb moment where a folding phone makes sense beyond “oh look what I phone can do” and I can only assume its going to cost a fair bit.
Based on what I have seen at CES and some visuals online, the phones with a folding screen look bulky which is so against the trend of having a nice slim phone that pops in and out of jeans back pocket.
We also love our camera, I am not sure how the camera will be affected with this new design, however, I am sure companies like Samsung and Huawei are fully aware that cameras are important and won’t mess with that. I hope. (*cough headphone jack)
Battery life must take a beating when powering such a large display. This is the biggest users of our current battery so I am hoping that there is a new way to power up that folding screen.
So more cons than pros at the moment.
So in summary:
In reality, if you want a large screen on your phone, you can buy one today. If you want a LARGE screen, you can pick up a tablet. I have my Samsung Note 8.0 tablet from 2013 (I think) and it’s an 8inch tablet that is still superb for reading my e-books, movies, podcasts, games and the odd bit of work too. And that’s the “problem” with tablets. They are so good that even today, the iPad 1 still has its place for Netflix in bed style consumption.
I guess it boils down to this: How often are you wishing you brought your tablet with you as you want a large screen? For me, the answer is ZERO times. It hasn’t been a problem for years so not sure why it’s a “problem” today.
As you can probably tell, I am not a fan of the folding phone screen YET. I do love that the phone is evolving and this is a natural progression for perhaps different form factors in the future. I remain open to the idea when I eventually get to see and use one but currently, there is no “oh wow -- I get it” situation that makes me start saving folding-screen launch day.