Last week, Royole Corporation revealed the FlexPai 2, the company’s second smartphone with a foldable display.
If you’re closely following tech news the name might ring a bell. Royole was the first company to officially announce a foldable phone in early 2019, beating Samsung and Huawei to the punch. But that’s pretty much all the original FlexPai had going for it. The phone was big and clunky and honestly kind of ugly. It was proof of concept more than a device that you can use every day.
Now that’s a chonky phone if I’ve ever seen one
You probably won’t see the FlexPai 2 in the wild either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth talking about. Because just as the initial FlexPai was a sign of the things to come, so is its successor.
What we saw during the FlexPai 2 reveal was a foldable phone that was much more polished than the original. The new hinge leaves no gap when closed, the display itself looks much better and less plastic-y, overall, it looks like something you won’t be embarrassed to pull out of your pocket. The phone brings flagship-grade internals to the table as well: Snapdragon 865, UFS 3.0 storage, LPDDR5 RAM, everything you’d expect.
Unfortunately, that’s as close as we’ve gotten to the FlexPai 2 for now
And that got me thinking. If Royole, a company most people haven’t even heard of, can achieve such an improvement within a year, then what can Samsung do with its vast R&D resources?
We already know a Galaxy Fold 2 is in the works. And, obviously, it will be better than the first one. But unlike regular smartphones, where we see relatively minor changes between generations since they’ve been around for a decade, foldables are still in the stage where each new model is a leap forward.
So what can we expect from the Galaxy Fold 2? Well, plenty, here’s the wishlist the FlexPai 2 inspired me to make:
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 features and changes I like to see
Slim is no the first word that comes to mind when seeing thisSure, the Galaxy Fold is essentially a small tablet you can put in your pocket. But it’s still quite bulky. If Samsung manages to make a zero-gap fold, it will not only make the phone much more compact, but it will finally look the way it’s meant to. Let’s face it, the gap just screams “We’re not there yet”. It has to be the first thing to disappear.
Shaving a few tenths of a millimeter from the body would also be welcomed as in folded mode the gains will be doubled.
More durable display
The original Galaxy Fold was delayed because of its fragile display and while that was somewhat acceptable for a first-generation device, Samsung can’t afford to repeat it with the Fold 2. The display on the Galaxy Z Flip is an improvement, but for its next foldable, Samsung should do one better. Hopefully, the all-glass bendable displays that we’ve been promised are ready for prime time when the Fold 2 rolls out.
A rumor popped up a while back that the Galaxy Fold 2 might come with an included S Pen. From a functionality standpoint, that makes total sense. The form factor is perfect for drawing and writing notes with a stylus. However, the tip of the S Pen is tiny and can damage a plastic screen easily, which brings us back to the previous requirement. If these two features come hand in hand with the next Fold, it will make it much more enticing for users.
There’s one more requirement we have for the inside display of the next Fold. The hideous notch from the first one must be purged. Ideally, there should be no notch at all, with the camera tucked into the frame somewhere, but a small hole, like on the Galaxy S20 series, will be fine as well. A waterdrop notch will be too outdated for late 2020, so hopefully, Samsung won’t go for that.
Better outside display
Samsung needs to do some work on the outside of the Galaxy Fold 2, even if that’s not a priority for that type of device. The “external” display of the Galaxy Fold is so small, it’s barely useful. Besides that, it looks ridiculous floating in the middle of the panel like a window. I get that this display is not the designers’ main concern, but for $2,000 you should be getting a phone without compromises.
It just looks wrong
Samsung should find a way to provide more real estate for the outside display even if it means adjusting the aspect ratio of the internal screen to make the folded phone less tall and a bit wider. That would go a long way towards making the phone more convenient for everyday use and less niche.
Now, some of you would put “Lower price” on the list and I get that, two grand is a lot of money for a phone. But let’s be real. The Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at $1,399 already and it’s just a regular flagship with a fancy camera.
There’s no way the next Fold will be cheaper than the current one. With the right improvements, however, more people will be compelled to shell out two Gs for the Galaxy Fold 2.
No matter if Samsung fulfills my wishlist or goes for other features, I can’t wait to see what the Galaxy Fold 2 has in store for us. More