Foldable phones seem to be the next big thing in technology. Whether its Apple, Samsung, or one of the other international technology giants, it seems like at least one company is rumored to be making a foldable phone every year. As companies inch closer to actually being able to roll out foldable smartphones, we have more details than ever about exactly what these devices will do.
There are several different types of foldable phones in the works. One type of foldable phone that Samsung is reportedly making is actually a hybrid between a smartphone and a tablet. When folded in half, the device will act as a smartphone. When unfolded, the screen expands to become a tablet. Regardless of how it’s folded, the hybrid device will have both the capabilities of a phone and tablet at all times.
Other than the ability to call and text people, there is very little technical difference between a smartphone and a tablet. If these foldable hybrids hit the market, it will save consumers money and space within their bags. People will be able to buy one device that has all of the perks of both a smartphone and a tablet.
The Power Of The Bend
Other prototypes for foldable phones focus more on bending than making hard folds. A team at Queen’s University made a phone that can be rolled up like a newspaper and can bend back and forth. Watch it in action here.
Rather than just being a novelty, bending the phone triggers actions on the screen. When reading on this bendable phone, bending the screen makes pages turn. There are even some games that are played by bending the phone rather than using on-screen controls.
Why The Wait?
Developing a screen that can bend is a relatively easy feat for engineers because it’s easy to design plastic that bends. The insides of a phone are what is slowing down the process of bringing foldable phones to the mass market.
The rigid metals inside of phones do not respond well to being bent. Many foldable prototypes have much shorter battery live than regular phones. When solutions to these problems are found, phones might be able to fit snugly in our pockets again. Samsungs foldable phone with Infinity Flex display will be released in April 2019. Huawei has already released the foldable Mate X, and Lenovo has recently released specs for its own foldable smartphone.
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