With Google betting on a foldable future for Android, it seems all phone manufacturers are getting these type of devices ready.
Even Apple is looking into this form factor that offers the convenience of extreme portability when folded and a larger screen whenever you need it.
Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesClearly, foldable phones and the return of the slider phone will be the hottest trends of 2019. Our foldable phone guide shows the cats that are already out of the bag, but here are all the companies working on transformer phones right now.
Huawei Foldable Phone
The Huawei foldable phone (see pic above) seems to be the most impressive so far. It will have 5G and a full 5-inch screen on the front (with a notch for facial ID recognition), as well as an almost bezelless 8-inch screen outside. Huawei’s CEO Ken Hu says it’s so powerful it will be able to “replace a PC”.
The device is reportedly being announced at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
Samsung Galaxy F or Galaxy Fold
The technology behind the upcoming Samsung foldable was announced in early November. The Infinity Flex display Samsung will be using for the Galaxy F (or Galaxy X) will expand to 7.3 inches and sport a resolution of 2152 x 1536 pixels. According to a Korean analyst report, the Galaxy Fold (as the report predicts it could be named) will cost $1,800 and sport a whopping gigantic mAh battery capacity and two 12-MP rear-facing cameras.
The batteries will be split into two, one on each blade, which is a no-brainer given its gigantic display and cover panel.
Credit: Lets Go DigitalWhen closed, the display will measure 4.58 inches with a resolution of 1960 x 480 pixels.
Samsung hasn’t revealed many other details as of yet, but we do know the device will be able to run three apps on the screen at once, thanks to the new OneUI interface. The Korean company should officially show the phone at the MWC 2019. Without its boxy camouflage, it may look like the above render.
The world’s first foldable phone came on November 1. It isn’t as polished as Huawei or Samsung’s but, hey, the little Chinese David beat the two Goliaths to be first to market. Called the FlexPai, it has a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen with a 1920 x 1440 resolution and measures 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches.
Credit: RoyoleThe Flexpai has two cameras rated at 16 and 20 megapixels, and comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
Another foldable coming out at MWC 2019, according to reliable rumormonger Ice Universe, is the one from LG. That phone may be the one that showed up in a recent patent uncovered by Letsgodigital. That phone, however, has two displays rather than a foldable one.
Credit: Lets Go DigitalIt’s hard to understand why LG would choose such a design when they are the undisputed leaders in flexible OLED technology, however, so I wouldn’t count on this being their bet against Samsung and Huawei.
Credit: Lets Go DigitalIn a filing with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, LG has applied to register three brand names: Flex, Foldi, and Duplex. The latter may refer to the dual-screen phone. Flex is already in use in of LG’s curved phone, the G Flex 2. It seems logical to think that Foldi may refer to a foldable screen phone.
There’s also a new patent — filed on November 20, 2018 — that shows this strange foldable by LG:
Credit: Lets Go Digital
The brand now owned by Lenovo may resuscitate its legendary RAZR model in the form of a foldable phone, at least judging from US Patent and Trademark Office patents found by Dutch tech blog Mobielkopen.
Credit: Mobilelkopen According to Techradar, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said that foldable screens may be the key to reintroduce the RAZR, a really compact flip phone that expands into a full screen similar to the 6.5-inch phones we have today.
“With the new technology, especially folding screens, I think you will see more and more innovation in our smartphone design,” he told TechRadar. “so hopefully what you just described [the RAZR] will be developed or realized very soon.”
The 2017 Axon M was more flop than foldable, thanks to a dual-screen design that reminds me of the LG patent. But that’s not the end of the line for ZTE. In an interview, ZTE Marketing VP Jeff Yee said that they will get “something that’s truly bendable.” There are no more details about this true folding device yet.
Uncovered by Mobielkopen, the Oppo foldable is yet another Android transformer that could be on the way, and the first details could be revealed fairly soon.
Credit: Oppo/SIPO/MobielkopenIt has showed up in a filing with the Chinese patent office. The document includes four variants of the same design, with the display on the outside, like the Royole. There’s not any other details about it, though.
Oppo says that it will have to more to share about its possible foldable phone plans in February, according to AndroidWorld.nl.
“We know that brands such as Samsung and Sony are working on a foldable phone,” said Chuck Wang, Oppo product manager. “You can also expect more news from Oppo, perhaps at MWC,” referring to Mobile World Congress.
And finally, there’s Apple. The Cupertino company is not talking about its foldable plans at all, but there’s no doubt they are working on exploring different designs, as this patent on hinge designs show.
Credit: Patently AppleMost likely, Tim Cook and Jony Ive will wait until Google, Samsung, Huawei, and company iron out all the many technological kinks. But perhaps, if the format takes off as these companies and the Westworld scriptwriters think it will, Apple may be left behind in the Next Big Thing. More