What makes foldable phones special?
Several attempts have been made in the past that resembled foldable phones. Samsung has had several patents and efforts at that.
LG had a rollable AMOLED display which was the show-stopper at CES 2016. Now Samsung is close at heels. Their project V marked the start of a phone that’s foldable in nature.
Starting way back in 2011— plans were leaked showcasing foldable display systems from the Korean device manufacturer.
Patents updated from time to time throw more spotlight on Samsung’s plans for foldable devices with one of them looking like a wallet, another one like a Nintendo playstation and still other designed like a scroll that un-scrolls.
What has happened so far?
At the time it was touted that Project V or Project Valley will feature two devices and one of these variants will be powered by the evergreen and ever popular Snapdragon operating systems 820 and 620.
There will also be a 3gb ram which seems a drawback considering non dual screen phones already have 4gb ram and 8gb ram with 3gb microsd slow.
Back then in 2011, when Samsung launched a prototype of the project V it featured a screen that remained indestructible even after 10,000 folds.
Project V is now called Samsung X and will reportedly cost over £1850.
Despite all the news we’re still wary on the details.
The really interesting question is whether the phone will be dual screen, tetra screen or tri fold?
Will be it a rolled scroll model?
That’s not to say that others are lagging behind. Even Microsoft has joined the fray in being one of the first in bringing out foldable phones.
Enough said about the models that are going to be launched. What about the advantages that it offers?
Smartphones already occupy a large space in our day to day lives. We’re generally glued to its screens and a large part of our work culture revolves around these phones. There’s also the fact that in a bid to improve engagement and get more buyers interested manufacturers have been squeezing more RAM, better display and higher memory capacity into these phones. And why wouldn’t they?
Video consumption is rising courtesy of 4g network and faster streaming requires a powerful GPU, CPU and RAM.
The next step in evolution is giving users more space to feast their eyes on. The single screen concept is dying and proving woefully inefficient to measure up to the tasks that current phones are capable of achieving but lagging far behind courtesy of the cut short screen size.
Needless to say double screen phones would give more avenues for interaction.
Smartphones are also trying to bridge the gap between what’s common in the computer world and still lacking in phones. Dual screen monitors are all the rage when working with computers and same abilities will now be extended to phones.
There are also more possibilities up for debate: for one with dual screens will it be possible to shove unused apps on to one screen and continue using other apps to a screen that functions as a live screen. This would improve the speeds at which we access apps and adding more speed to multi-tasking.
Another possibility is that we need not be contained to a 2 fold display that folds around the center. Like a paper that could fold itself 4 or 5 times over, we could open up 4 or 5 faces/screens to the phone.
End the need for dual cameras
Almost the entirety of smartphones, across models and price-points consist of two cameras, the rear and front.
Camera architecture and hardware takes up space. Traditionally one camera, the one at the rear is more capable at capturing detailed photos and the front camera is the lesser of the two.
If we end the need for two cameras by dissolving the differences between the back and front on a flip-phone, the necessity of two cameras turns obsolete. Manufacturers can now focus on getting one job done the best way possible by improving the sole camera to specs never seen before.
Cracked screens will be a thing of the past
Cracked screens anyone?
No one likes it when the screens of their favourite phones scramble to a million pieces.
Folding displays would be shatter proof because the first order of folding phones is that they’re flexible. Hence no more shattering.
Plastic’s a fairly flexible material. Plastic OLED or flexible LCD or carbon fibre body would definitely make this possible.
Even though tablets were touted to end the reign of PCs by providing a larger real estate on-screen they died a very quick death.
Much of the decline in sales numbers was due to their large size itself which makes them impossible to carry in pockets.
However foldable phones are going to end all of that.
What could be the potential cons?
Some of the problems that plagued tablets could spell the eventual demise or low popularity for bendable smartphones too.
First is since the large size of tablets proved to be detrimental the heaviness of dual screen phones could be negative factor for them.
In a world that craves thinness dual screen phones could be thicker than its counterparts.
Heavy battery usage
One factor that plays into how popular a phone eventually becomes is how it uses battery. A phone that runs of juice in 3 hours isn’t going to be popular.
If we delve into root word definitions for the word mobile it means it can be carried anywhere and everywhere. Juicer batteries fuel that.
The most potent thing in any phone that demands battery is its screen and when we’re talking of dual screens or tetra screen phones we’re talking and thinking of more usage, added functionality and unthinkable versatility all of which will be compromised should be battery prove to be a disappointment.
Whatever may the limitations or potential features, there’s little doubt that dual screened or many screened phones are going to change our outlook on phones and how we approach these devices.
There are plenty of changes that should happen. Let’s wait and watch.