Are Foldable Smartphones Worth the Hype?

Newly released foldable phones

If you’ve ever looked at your phone and thought ‘gosh this phone sure would be better if it could fold in half,’ you’ll be pleased to know that the technology industry has delivered. If that thought never crossed your mind, like the vast majority of humanity, then you may wonder what the point of a foldable phone is. In a nutshell; a foldable phone is not especially remarkable in terms of functionality. It still operates the same as any other phone, allows you to access Lucky Nugget Online Casino just as you normally would, and really doesn’t excel at much, other than folding in half.

So why then have some major phone manufacturers gone ahead and released foldable phone designs? Let’s take a closer look, and see if foldable phones have a future, or if they are just a desperate attempt by a floundering industry to create the new cool thing.

An Industry On The Brink

A rather unfortunate thing happened to the mobile phone industry; it reached a plateau. The phones that came out 6 or so years ago were, frankly, the best that they were ever going to be. The cameras were good enough, battery life long enough, screens sharp enough, and storage space big enough. So, what was the point of getting a new phone? For a camera that had X number more megapixels? For a built-in fingerprint scanner? Hardly particularly good motivation.

Foldable phone evolution
Source: unsplash

Though, mobile phone mega-corporations need not feel bad, since a similar plateau exists in all modern technology. Mobile phones just happened to reach the plateau first. The video game and TV industry are probably next. Unless you really think that there is a point to 8k resolutions.

So, many people simply stopped buying new phones. This reality struck fear into the hearts of the mega-corporations, and many immediately flew into panic mode to avoid an inevitable recession. Some raised the prices of their products, while others floundered in an effort to find a technological innovation that would again convince consumers into buying a new device.

The Foldable Phone

The foldable phone is an effort to try and find that technological innovation. Spoiler; it isn’t an especially great attempt. The Galaxy Fold, which was released last year, had reviewers holding their heads in dismay. Many reported that the device broke within days, making clear the biggest problem that these devices have.

The Motorola Razr, which has just been released and costs an arm and a leg, is reported as having abysmal battery life, and, hilariously, fails at it’s one major selling point; the folding hinge is unreliable.

Other latest releases have been equally underwhelming. To put it bluntly; foldable phones are not exactly taking the world by storm. Some critics are baffled, asking why the foldable phone was created when no one had been asking for it. After all; the ancient clamshell designs of the 90s went out fashion for a reason.

Foldable phone evolution
Source: unsplash

But, to look at the situation fairly, foldable screen technology certainly has some interesting potential. The Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are intended to act as 2 devices rolled into 1. When closed they are a standard sized smartphone, but when opened are a functional tablet. This concept may just have some legs, given that it neatly solves the problem of carrying around sizable a tablet. Though, you may also argue that simply not carrying a tablet around in public, and rather just using your phone, is a better, and cheaper, solution.

Either way, for many a pocket-sized tablet won’t be enough to shell out the exorbitant prices by a long shot.

A Passing Fad?

Feedback on foldable devices, so far, has been almost entirely negative. The biggest problem all reviewers have had is one that can’t be ignored; the devices are extremely weak and vulnerable. The foldable screen technology is, as anyone can imagine, based around being thin and flexible. Although this allows for folding, the screen also won’t stand up to even mild punishment.

To put it another way; most have become familiar with how much punishment their smartphones can take, which is, frankly a great deal, assuming you have a protective cover. If a foldable phone was treated the same way as a traditional smartphone, it would be broken almost immediately.

So, all signs point to foldable devices, at the most, being a niche market. Given the exorbitant prices and mostly negative reception, there is little chance that they will go mainstream. This begs the question; what will they try next to try and make us cough up for something we already own?

On the other hand, don’t write off foldable screen technology just yet. It may well have uses in the future, though we aren’t entirely sure what. But when someone does think of the right use, we’re sure it will be impressive.