Samsung have unveiled Galaxy Fold – a folding smartphone with a large (7.3” 2152×1536) internal display.
Designing a folding phone presents challenges, not least how close to exact the fold can run without breaking the internal display.
The benefits? A larger screen inside looks a smart choice for certain app formats – such as Google Maps, or split-screen use between apps. Samsung have cleverly ensured the display switches as the hinge is opened, seamlessly connecting the ‘outside’ display to the ‘inside’ without a delay that might interrupt use of the phone.
But there are some quirks too – the impressive internal screen is 6% less bright than the external, and drains the battery significant faster than the external 4.58 inch display that acts as the more traditional phone keypad.
The South Korean electronics conglomerate is not the first to trial a folding smartphone, nor even the first to announce – with Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi both previewing rival models with different folding styles.
The Galaxy Fold will cost a wallet-emptying $2000 – but does at least demonstrate a level of innovation that has been sorely lacking in the smartphone market in recent years. Studies suggest gadget-lovers are increasingly holding on to their devices for longer, with risk-averse manufacturers adding only incremental changes.
Folding smartphones have disrupted the market before, so perhaps if the design can be perfected, there may be new use cases that soon demand folding technology.
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