The past decade has witnessed a massive evolution in technology, which has developed a paradigm shift in the unprecedented advancements we see today. The basic definition of a portable device is now changing, and it does not seem to have fixed boundaries but only faded lines. Many different competitors on the global scale are racing towards innovation in all fields of science and are now investing in extensive research in hopes of a brighter future. The limelight is on the most widely used portable device today, smartphones. Years of experiments with smartphones appear to be yielding exciting results in the field of display technology, processing capabilities, storage functionality and undoubtedly, portability and usability.
Dive in … and let’s have a brief look at some of the best-in-segment devices that have completely changed the game:
SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip
(14 February 2020)
In a glittering event at San Francisco, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip and the S20 Series. The 6.7-inch display of the Galaxy Z Flip incredibly bends around the horizontal axis and has a small 1.1”-inch screen on the back for date/time/notification purposes. Inside, the phone offers a Snapdragon 855+ chip with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. A 3300mAh battery is keeping the lights on, and Android 10 comes preinstalled out of the box. There is a dual-camera setup on the back, two 12MP sensors (wide + ultra-wide angle). The price of the Galaxy Z Flip is $1380 (around Rs.1, 02,127). This makes Z Flip wildly expensive and beyond the reach of most budgets.
Inside, on the unfolded screen, Flex UI is really fascinating and allows for extended multitasking, and in some cases, enables the controls of one app to be laid out across the Full HD+ screen. You can split the Galaxy Z Flip's display in half, right at the crease and essentially have two 4-inch screens available for different apps. Both apps will be active at the same time too. So one won't be idle while you scroll in the other.
The obvious difference between this phone and Samsung's first folding phone -- the Galaxy Fold, is that the inside is a bendable glass screen that stretches from top to bottom unlike the previous plastic display. There is a similar sort of design from the new Moto Razr.
SAMSUNG Galaxy Fold
In April 2019, Samsung came out with the Galaxy Fold, which has a 7.3-inch screen that folds over itself when you're ready to put it in your pocket. The phone costs a fortune of $1,980 (that's about Rs.1, 42,900), but the specs say it all: a powerful processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. It accommodates a triple-lens 16MP+12MP+12MP rear camera, and a 4,380mAh battery split up into two parts (because of that fold).
On the software abilities, Samsung claims that you can run up to three apps simultaneously on the Fold. Furthermore, any application running on the front of the device will automatically switch to the middle if you open it up.
The Razr returns, but now as an Android smartphone that can fold in half. Motorola has officially released its much-rumored (and much-leaked) full-stacked modern spin on the nostalgic and iconic flip phone. It had established the flip-phone as a truly memorable piece of tech. And after a staggering 15 years of the original, the Razr is back with a new generation.
The Moto Razr 2019 packs an Android v9.0 (Pie) OS. The smartphone is fuelled by an Octa core (2.2 GHz, Dual core, Kryo 360 + 1.7 GHz, Hexa Core, Kryo 360) processor. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 Chip. It contains 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. It is priced on the high end at 1500 USD (1, 08,262 INR).
Microsoft Surface Duo
(Yet to release)
The Microsoft Surface Duo is another foldable phone on the assembly line that encompasses twin screens. The device in general does not contain a foldable display but joins two screens together on a patented hinge that supports 360-degree rotation. The result is a powerful multi-tasking device that has exciting features.
Microsoft initially said that the Surface Duo will launch around the end of this year, but there are rumors that it could now go on sale as early as April or May. So, all we can say is that it’s expected to launch shortly with sources claiming most of the work is done. With some extra customization and finishing touches, the device will soon be in the market.
Huawei Mate XS
(30th March, 2020)
The Huawei Mate XS is a new foldable phone from the Chinese company, but it isn’t a big change from the Huawei Mate X we saw being introduced this time last year. The Huawei Mate X, debuted in Feb 2019, and the XS Model is a slightly updated and enhanced version of that smartphone with a few key changes incorporating improvements in certain areas.
In terms of processing, it is powered by a Kirin 990 5G chipset and runs on EMUI 10.0.1 OS, an Android Open Source OS. Coming to the camera, it contains a Leica quad-camera setup with a 40 MP main camera, 16 MP ultra-wide angle camera, 8 MP telephoto camera and a depth sensor. This camera can also be used for selfies. The Huawei Mate XS will set you back by almost Rs. 1, 95,290.
The future is exciting! The public opinion will usually be like: ‘Meh, we don’t need huge flip phones’ to ‘Ok, this may actually be promising’ to ‘Wow, I want to buy one!’.
The breakthroughs in display technology truly promise to provide an enhanced user experience and will soon redefine the way we interact with smartphones; the way we game, watch movies, and surf social media. Undoubtedly, larger displays, multi-app features and portability, productivity will also increase. Since there is heavy investment in research and development, the cost of production still hovers on the higher-end, making it not viably accessible to the general public. However, this hitch usually fades away after years of progress (just like how touchscreen devices once cost a fortune, but now almost everyone owns one).