In 2020, we may have to take a step back and re-evaluate where technology is headed to as it doesn’t look nearly as fantastic as a sci-fi movie that many imagined it to be. Tesla reinvented a truck. We introduced 5G on mobiles, which pretty much just gave us faster Netflix streaming and downloads. And Samsung reinvented large screen phones (and phablets) by folding them in innovative ways, and Huawei and a bunch of other mobile manufacturers hopped on the bandwagon. This is the only trend that seems even mildly futuristic of which we might have a couple through 2020.
The folding phones seem to be the most definitive of the trends to dominate this year because they change the fundamental aesthetic and direction of the one device we cannot get enough of. 5.1 million unique users have a smartphone, and last year, the number of phone connections, at approx. 9.3 million, surpassed the total human population for the first time. Even something like a fad can add up to startling numbers now more than ever. Any trend in mobile technology, however unimportant it may seem, is more likely than ever to impact millions of people’s lives.
Why should you get a foldable phone?
• They are renewed tablet phones and come with screen sizes between 6.2” to over twice that.
• They are said to have better media and graphics.
• They fit well in your pocket despite the screen size.
• And are equipped with top-of-the-line specs.
Samsung Galaxy Fold
Samsung flagged off this trend by introducing its Galaxy Fold in April 2019. While it faced issues with the hinge, the product inspired other brands such as Huawei and Motorola to launch foldable phones of their own. Each foldable phone in the market thus far has a unique folding design and user experiences that are worlds apart.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold provides a two-screen horizontal folding option. It, however, has several design problems (bumps on the screen near the fold, thickness of the overall device) that do not justify it’s $1980 (`1,41,000) price tag.
Come August 2020, Samsung is set to improve the design and release a brand-new Galaxy Fold, which may prove to be worth the wait. Samsung does have a good history of bringing luxury and quality to phones, and with one folding device out in the world, it is likely that the Galaxy Fold 2 turns the failures of its predecessor on its head.
The Huawei Mate X
The Mate wins in the design comparison with the Fold. Although it’s only available in China right now and costs a whopping $2400 (nearly `1,70,000), its features sweeten the blow considerably.
• It has a Kirin 980 octacore processor.
• 4,500-mAh, all-day battery
• It is 5G compatible.
• It has 512GB of internal storage and 8GB RAM.
• It is quite sleek and fits well in an average pocket.
• It has a stunning 6.6” folded display, which is easily confused for a tablet when unfolded.
Motorola’s Razr has received immaculate reviews across the board from test models. This device is all business and has a healthy dose of nostalgia. It aims to bring back the path breaking Moto Razr flip phone from the early 2000s in a modern avatar. It is well designed, compact and works exactly as advertised. The phone, priced at $1500 (approximately `1,06,586), is in the same price range as the 512GB iPhone 11. You can’t use this as a tablet, but it ticks all the boxes of a top of the line phone.
• It flips vertically, unlike the Galaxy Fold.
• It has minimal creases nearthe fold.
• The closed phone has an external screen for alerts, like a pager.
• The tall/narrow screen may not be for everybody and might take some time getting used to. The phone, designed for nostalgia, doesn’t look modern enough and has a visible chin when closed.
• It has a 16MP camera for photographs and selfies when the phone is closed shut, and a 5MP one when flipped, for video calls.
• It comes with 6GB RAM, 128GB Internal storage.
• It has a 2500mAH battery.All in all, the Razr makes for a pocket friendly device (literally and figuratively) while it trades-off some of the features of premium phones. It still is the best foldable phone slated for release in this quarter by a good margin. Leave us a comment if you get one!
Other foldable phones
1. Escobar’s $350 foldable phone, famously banned from the CES exhibition this year
2. TCL’s $500 Samsung Galaxy lookalike, which is 5G compatible
3. Another of TCL’s designs; nameless currently, it has a zigzag three-part folding screen