A field guide to the wacky future of foldable phones

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Foldable phones news 2019
Foldable phones news 2019

Remember when people used to joke that every new phone was the same rounded rectangle?

Those days are officially gone. Now, handset manufacturers are falling over themselves to one-up each other with designs that go entirely off the rails, because you can build a phone a ton of different ways when you’ve got screens that can fold.

We’ve barely seen the first wave of foldable phones, and there are nearly as many different shapes as there are handsets. What should we call them? Back before every phone was effectively a phablet, we had all sorts of categories: flip phones, candy bars, sliders, swivels, the original brick phones, and, of course, the infamous taco.

So we figured it’s about time to get this conversation started. Here at The Verge, we put our heads together to come up with this totally 100 percent official list of the absolutely positively unimpeachably best names you could possibly use to describe each and every type of folding phone we’ve seen so far — and a few that don’t yet exist.

Clearly, a waiter is going to bring us the bill in one of these. Here’s hoping the little flap that holds a credit card hasn’t broken off yet.


Salvador Dalí would be proud — or very confused.

Examples of the form: Royole Flexpai,one of TCL’s DragonHinge prototypes

Something we could all agree to call it: a folding tablet


I wish I had one of these back in school instead of a three-ring binder filled with notes and homework. Also, it would have been nice to have Google and Wikipedia and… am I old?

Examples of the form: Huawei Mate X, Oppo’s folding prototype

Something we could all agree to call it: a matchbook phone


For the discerning vault dweller.

Examples of the form: Nubia Alpha

Something we could all agree to call it: a bracelet phone. More

By Verge Staff

EDTIllustrations

By Grayson Blackmon