Foldable phones


OK , first ques­tion: why?

Phones have been get­ting larger as time goes on. Es­sen­tially, the pub­lic at large wants big­ger screens, and phone com­pa­nies want to sell more phones. The po­ten­tial of in­clud­ing a dou­ble-size screen along with a highly ex­cit­ing gim­mick means the foldable phone is the next big thing in pocket hand­sets.

But why would I need one?

You prob­a­bly asked the same ques­tion when the first wave of smart­phones came along. And just as we couldn’t give you a solid an­swer then, we can’t now – but prac­ti­cal uses for wrap­around screens will no doubt emerge, and be­ing able to fold out your phone into an ex­tra large dis­play has ob­vi­ous ben­e­fits.

So who’s in­volved?

Two big names, at least to be­gin with: LG, which makes its own hand­sets but is also re­spon­si­ble for sup­ply­ing the dis­plays found in hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent phone mod­els; and Sam­sung, which has been sit­ting on a fold­ing phone patent for some years. But nei­ther were first to mar­ket. Cheeky startup Roy­ole, which has been work­ing on flex­i­ble dis­plays since 2015, sniped in with the FlexPai, a worlds-first foldable phone aimed at the premium end of the Chi­nese mar­ket.

How premium?

Re­ally very premium – the FlexPai, which will ap­par­ently with­stand some 200,000 bends, is priced at the equiv­a­lent of £1,000, and will likely cost a lot more if and when it is re­leased on these shores. Don’t ex­pect the price to stay that high as the tech de­vel­ops and be­comes more com­mon­place, though emp­ty­ing wal­lets is also very trendy in the mo­bile mar­ket.

When can I get one?

Mark our words: 2019 will be the year of the foldable phone. Also mark these words: don’t buy one in 2019, be­cause they’ll be full of teething prob­lems and un­fore­seen tech­ni­cal is­sues.

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