Foldable Phones Set To Mix Up Smartphone Design

A NEW ERA of smartphone design could be upon us, shaking off the practical but slightly dull smooth rectangular design of current models.

Posted December 12,2018 in Science and Technology.

Mike Daniel
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Foldable Phones Set To Mix Up Smartphone Design

That's because foldable mobile phones are on their way, opening up new ways in which smartphone technology can be packaged and used.

Foldable displays have been in the prototype stage for a while, but we’ve not seen the technology put into any mass-market devices.

However, a tech firm you've almost certainly never heard of, Royole, has now shown off the "world's first" foldable smartphone. Dubbed the FlexPai, the foldable phone looks a bit like an Android tablet that's been folded down the middle while held in landscape mode.

Unfolded, it presents a 7.8 in tablet, but when the device is folded up,
it has the dimensions of a compact notepad.

As such, the F|exPai looks more like a tablet that’s trying to fold down
to phone size rather than a smartphone being able to offer more screen real estate when desired. In the videos we’ve seen of the F|exPai in action, it looks a tad clunky to use and gives the impression that Android has got some way to go before the mobile operating system is optimised for this newer form factor.

Nevertheless, the fact that the screen can fold without breaking is technically impressive. When it arrives in 2019, the FlexPai is expected to have some decent innards in the form of Qualcomm's upcoming
7 nm Snapdragon 8150 CPU paired with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. That's a decent spec, but one to be expected for a hefty £1,209; that's top-end iPhone XS money, after all.

However, the F|exPai doesn’t look as if it will be the only foldable Android tablet-cum-phone for too long, as Samsung has also revealed a foldable phone prototype, which many have been calling the Galaxy X.

When in its phone mode, the device looks like a traditional rectangular Android handset. But it's chunkier-than-usual chassis hides another screen, which when the phone is opened up like a book transforms the handset into a compact 7.3in tablet, with the user interface adapted to fit the boosted screen space.

Although specs and final design haven’t been revealed, Samsung's
take on foldable phones, facilitated by its flexible Infinity Flex Display
tech, looks pretty neat and slick, and arguably more usable than the
FlexPai at first glance.

We can expect the Galaxy X or whatever Samsung decides to call it not to be cheap, given its flagship Galaxy Note 9 has an £899 starting price.