It's official, smartphone lovers: The next big news in mobile is the foldable phone – well, that, and the 5G, of course. The first folding phone was launched several months ago, but the collapsible devices you really want to see were unveiled around the MWC 2019. First, Samsung and its Galaxy Fold, then Huawei with the Mate X, showed us the future.
Foldable phones may not yet be ready for mass consumption and will be a high-end product in the coming years, but it's actually the only way to expand the business even further. handset screen and offer users more retail space on a device intended to fit in your pocket. But the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X are not the only collapsible phones in town, and MWC showed us a few other models we have not talked about yet, as well as some weird objects to guide you through until you retrieve your phone. first folding device.
Of all the companies that make smartphones, only a few have the luxury of running a screen maker. Even fewer of them make a lot of other phone components. That's why Samsung is likely to play a leading role in foldable handsets no matter what Huawei does.
The Galaxy Fold is the first model among so many, the result of many years of research and a device that should incorporate the latest version of Android. The Fold will sell for $ 1,980 and will be available in limited numbers at launch. Unfortunately, we have not been able to give it a try, even though it is scheduled to launch in a few months.
The Mate X is the best collapsible camera to date, the GSMA's best MWC 2019 camera and the first ever 5G collapsible camera. The phone will cost even more than the Galaxy Fold, but if you want to be at the forefront of this technology, the price of admission may be worth it. That's not to say that Mate X is perfect, and there's still a lot we do not know about it. You will need to touch one to become a convert.
The only reason I mention this here is because it was the first time, several months before Fold and Mate X. But it will probably not be the phone you buy. This seems unpolished and without a pocket, but the company deserves to be credited for being first. It's up to you, Royole, to beat Samsung, Huawei and all the other players in the market.
Do you remember that awesome concept that Xiaomi unveiled a few weeks ago, long before Samsung and Huawei dazzled us with today's phones? Well, it turns out that the Chinese smartphone maker does not intend to make collapsible stands for the moment, VentureBeat reports. When they do, the first tablets of Xiaomi could be much cheaper than the others. But Xiaomi will still not compete with its biggest Android rivals.
Oppo also manufactures a foldable phone similar to Mate X. So we're looking at a wraparound screen on the outside of the handset. The device was teased on Weibo during the MWC, but was not part of any ad.
The owner of the BlackBerry and Alcatel brands, TCL, also manufactures foldable handsets, whose goal is to market at least one in the market by 2020, according to reports. The different concepts that TCL is currently working on have been disclosed just before the launch of MWC, but I have not had a chance to use them. According to the appearance of these images, TCL foldable items will come in different shapes and sizes and they will not look as refined as the Galaxy Fold or the Mate X. In other words, TCL will lower the price of entry of the folding phone. dramatically, at least compared to other flagship projects we've seen.
Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 23, 2019
It's been a while now that we are learning that Motorola is studying foldable apps, with the goal of reviving the Razr brand, which was so popular in the midst of the mobile phone industry, long before the iPhone and Android created a new world order. And Motorola confirmed to the MWC that a collapsible handset could arrive in the first half of the year, without disclosing anything about it. Motorola has hinted that the screen would not be on the outside like the Mate X, which indicates that these foldable Razr patents might indicate what the foldable phone will look like.
Lenovo is actually the parent company of Motorola, but we do not know if Lenovo brand foldable products are being prepared. However, Lenovo has turned a tablet into a smartphone, announcing the midrange device at the MWC. If you want a tablet and a smartphone, but you can not afford to buy both, it's a great alternative. It does not bend, but it features a tablet-sized screen as well as all the features of a smartphone.
I will engage LG in the conversation simply because, just like Samsung, LG can also create its own foldable screens for its smartphones. And an old rumor claimed that LG Display was working with Apple on foldable iPhones. But the Korean smartphone maker said a few days ago not to manufacture a laptop this year, unlike its competitors. What LG did at the MWC 2019 was to offer a screen size extension solution that sounds good in theory. In practice, the Dual Screen feature of the LG V50 ThinQ is not the best of ideas. You will understand as soon as you use one. That does not seem right to me. And no, it's not a foldable device, so do not call it that.
Nubia at the MWC 2019 presented a strange concept of foldable watch, which I could not test. This may not be the best idea, but it still shows that foldable technology will affect other devices. The Alpha is a smart watch running under the operating system of Nubia. TechRadar, which will sell for about $ 510 later this year. Nubia is a sub-subsidiary of Chinese handset supplier ZTE, which launched its own foldable computer several years ago: the ugly ZTE Axon M.
Energizer phones have huge batteries, the 18,000 mAh phone we saw at the MWC 2019 is a perfect example. But Avenir Mobile, the company that owns the Energizer brand, has also launched a foldable phone with a huge battery, with a capacity of 10,000 mAh, and will look like this:
OnePlus may not be a start-up anymore, but it still does not seem to be ready to move to foldable applications. OnePlus said CNET to the CMM that he is not interested in folding cards at the moment. And if OnePlus has stated publicly that OnePlus does not bend, then this is not the case. But if Oppo, the brother of OnePlus, manufactures collapsible devices, OnePlus may one day launch its own handset with a screen that can bend, once the price has dropped significantly.
All the others
The collapsible game is missing three giants: Apple, Google and Microsoft. We already know that Apple has many patents describing a technology that can be used on collapsible devices, from wraparound screens to hinge mechanisms. Meanwhile, Microsoft has already confirmed that it already adapts Windows 10 to other form factors than laptops and desktops, and the Surface Phone does not stop appearing in reports.
I left Google for the end because we have no rumors about a foldable pixel phone yet. If Google was working on a foldable Pixel phone, everyone would know it well in advance. The pixels are leaking. But Google worked with Samsung to optimize Android for foldable apps, and Huawei said it also collaborated with Google on foldable phones. In addition, Google is developing Fuchsia, an operating system supposed to replace Android and Chrome, and dynamically adapt to any form factor with respect to the size and shape of the screen. At least, that's what the rumors say.