Foldable screen technology has been a buzzword for the past couple of years, one of the best use cases has been integrating this technology into phone screens.
After many years of the same general candy bar design from the major mobile manufacturers for the best part of half a decade, we are looking at a possible new era of new design styles, the last major change in the look of mobiles was Apple’s iPhone X with its near bezel-less front design and camera notch. So, the foldable screen has opened up some new possibilities, at the time of writing it seems there are two form factors that the technology will be used for, we have the tablet-style where the folded unit will be more like a traditional phone only to open to have a tablet-like experience.
In 2019 we have seen the announcements and release of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s Mate X and the Royole FlexPai. It has been a rocky start these new tablet-like phones, Samsung had to cancel the original launch of Galaxy Fold after there were durability issues with the review units sent out to tech journalists that it was so bad that Samsung had to go back to the drawing board and eventually released a revamped version in Asia. Huawei had a similar issue where they delayed their launch as the needed more time to improve the screen durability.
Motorola Mobility has been relatively quiet since Google sold the company to Lenovo in 2014, they have been mostly focusing on releasing entry and mid-level phones which is far from their cutting-edge iconic lines of yesteryear such as the Startac, Razr and the Droid. It seems 2020 we will see a resurgence for the company as a force in the mobile market, Motorola announced on the 13 November 2019 that they have modernised and reinvented the earlier 2000’s Razr brand with an Android-powered foldable smartphone.
The new Motorola Razr has become one of the most talked-about tech products of 2019, there is a lot of nostalgia for the brand name and the clamshell form factor. The specs for the phone leans more to the midrange it is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 with 6 GB of RAM, it will be able to handle itself but it won’t worry the likes of the Samsung Note 10 or Google’s Pixel 4 XL. One the things that have been very noticeable on the previously released foldables is a distinctive crease in the display when you look at the screen a few degrees from centre, Motorola seems to have solved this issue with their innovative new hinge mechanism that also allows the Razr to be closed flush (Something that can’t be said about the Samsung Fold). The current downer for Motorola’s upcoming phone is the price of $1500, it’s more expensive than most flagship phones but what makes it a real downer as said before the specs do not back up the asking price.
There has been a recent leak of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy phones, the most interesting possible leak was the next generation Galaxy Fold. This doesn't follow the design language of the recently released unit but more in the clamshell-style, it's very much similar to Motorola's reimagined Razr. At this point in time, there hasn't been specs or a price so we will need to wait to see how it will match up with the Razr.
2020 looks like it's going to be an interesting year for smartphones, for the first time we are looking to have new form factors that will allow us to interact in very different ways.