Flexible Smartphones: Breakthrough or Failure?

By Dailyfinreport - September 10, 2020

 The mobile device market regularly pleases users with interesting novelties. One of the most exciting innovations is flexible smartphones. However, flexible smartphone technology is still far from perfect. We figure out what successes the manufacturers have already achieved and what they still have to work on.


First attempts

A decade ago, all technology enthusiasts were shocked by the news: Nokia unveiled the concept of the world's first flexible smartphone. The presentation took place at the Museum of Modern Art, and for good reason: the concept was really impressive. A completely transparent case, a movable color display, the ability to bend in different planes and put on a wrist like a bracelet - it really looked like a living embodiment of the future. The developers called the upcoming miracle of technology Morph and promised that in just a few years the innovation would hit the shelves.



There was only one "but". The problem was that the smartphone concept is far from a finished product. In theory, everything looked amazing, but in practice the glass was not going to bend predictably, the processor, the camera matrix and the lens, too.


The idea had to be frozen. However, she still did not give rest to inventors, and in 2018 there was a new wave of attempts to create a miracle apparatus. Of course, I had to admit that it will not be possible to make a completely bendable device so far, therefore flexible smartphones are a somewhat conventional name, more precisely, they would be called foldable, but this does not sound so impressive.


First good luck

The Chinese became the pioneers. The first relatively successful attempt can be considered the Nubia Alpha model from Nubia, which showed something between a narrow smartphone and a watch with a touch strap. The device was made in such a way that the display could really be wrapped like a bracelet around the wrist. However, the pros ended there.



The next attempt was made by Royole. In January 2019, she introduced the FlexPai product, which was much more like a smartphone, but to call it “flexible” would be an exaggeration. FlexPai is more like a tablet that can be folded in half. It looked all the same impressive, but users found a number of very significant drawbacks in the device: too wide fold, poor image quality, the appearance of stripes and "nebula" on the display, freezing after folding.


How are things today?

On February 20, 2019, a new sensation happened: Samsung presented the Galaxy Fold . The device is similar to its Chinese predecessor FlexPai, it is also a kind of hybrid of a smartphone and a tablet, but without the obvious shortcomings that FlexPai upset.


True, the company's triumph did not take long to celebrate. Just four days later the firm Huawei has demonstrated its own development - a flexible smartphone  Mate the X . Its main difference is that it folds with the screen outward, and this, of course, captivates.



Each model of flexible smartphones has advantages and disadvantages, and only time will be able to make the final verdict, because so far none of them has passed a long and massive strength test.


But what in this area awaits us in the future? Perhaps in a couple of years the market will be flooded with flexible devices. Or maybe the idea will be put back on the back burner and for its new implementation they will start inventing new materials. So far, flexible smartphones may well expect the fate of clamshell phones: after all, where there is a fold, wear occurs, which means that the probability of breakage increases sharply. But let's hope that manufacturers have foreseen or successfully solve all possible problems, and soon we will all be able to carry a flexible and incredibly beautiful smartphone in our pockets.

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