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Evolution of Foldable Smartphones
  • Last Updated : 13 Oct, 2019

‘Foldable SmartPhones’, a technology which was a dream for everybody. The whole concept of foldable screens was unrealistic until last year. The phones we use today are made of hard glass or gorilla glass as we call it which cannot bend at all. So to make the phone foldable, they had to come up with new material for the screen which will be flexible but it shouldn’t break in half.

The first-ever foldable phone was launched on the 31st October 2018. It was from a company called Royale and they called the phone the Royole Flexpai. This was the company that beat all the other smartphone companies in folding technology. However, the phone had multiple malfunctions even though it ran the latest snapdragon processor at that time. The phone had a lot of false touches, wasn’t pocket-friendly, hardly practical and the user interface was terrible.

A few months later, both Samsung and Huawei released their foldable phones named as the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X respectively. Both these phones were better than the Flexpai in every aspect. Huawei never distributed these phones but Samsung sent these to a few reviewers for alpha testing before releasing them for the public. The Galaxy Fold looked a lot better when compared to the Mate X. The Galaxy fold looked more like a practical phone than the Mate X. However, none of the phones could make it through alpha testing. The Mate X had a problem on the screen after multiple folds. The Galaxy had a similar problem apart from the breaking of the hinge.

Both these phones were never made available for the public and even if they did, a very less number of phones would have been sold as they were really very expensive. Samsung was working on the folding technology for the past 7 years and Huawei was working on just the foldable hinge for 3 years. The phones were foldable so obviously there had to be moving parts. More the moving parts mean more maintenance and better quality of parts so that they won’t damage easily. Foldable phones won’t be cheap and it was pretty obvious. The Mate X was announced for a whopping $2600 (Rs. 1,82,000)[approx] and the Galaxy Fold was announced at $1980 (Rs. 1,38,600)[approx].

Samsung asked all the reviewers to return the phones as they had to make a lot of changes in them and after 2 months, the Samsung Galaxy fold is finally available for sale in the US. Huawei said that they are looking to release the phone in a few months but no official date has been declared. Even though foldable phones don’t seem practical for everyday use, it was a huge success for Samsung and Huawei as they were able to come up with an actual foldable phone this year.


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