Huawei’s folding phone, the Mate XS, is a subtle and deluxe phone with a remarkable display and strong performance.
But when it launched, many criticised it for having the display on what was perceived to be the “wrong side”, that is, on the outside. By contrast, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and indeed Galaxy Z Flip have put their folding displays on the inside.
The perception was that a screen is fragile and having a phone that was essentially nothing but screen on the all-too-accessible outside surfaces.
I’ve been testing the Mate XS for a while (and that display really is awesome) but I haven’t seen any issues with having the screen on the outside.
Still, the latest suggestion, from a patent published by Let’s Go Digital, is that Huawei is working on another folder.
The patent shows images which place the display on the inside so it opens up like a book and protects the screen entirely when the phone is shut.
But with one difference. The display, unlike on the Samsung Galaxy Fold, wouldn’t end inside, but would sneak round the edge and on to the front of the device.
In manufacturing terms you can see the appeal, it’s one continuous foldable display that wraps around the inside, round the edge and onto the front of the handset.
That’s pretty innovative and potentially great-looking. Though critics will say, “Well, the screen is still on the outside.”
Details are scant beyond the images, but it suggests that the outer display, which will have a cool look that waterfalls over the edge, will work like it does on the Samsung folder.
By David Phelan FORBES
I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am regularly struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to persistent repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology.
Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009.