Saturday, January 16, 2021

Why I’ll never go back to a flat non-folding phone

Why I’ll never go back to a flat non-folding phone

The transition was not only seamless but more convenient — I no longer needed to lug around two different devices while also delivering complete continuity between smartphone and tablet. I could also comfortably hold the device one handed during extended use which is something I could never do with Apple’s tablet.

Things that were time consuming and downright frustrating to do on a smartphone became effortless on a foldable. For instance, smartphones aren’t adept at doing more than one thing at a time, constantly forcing you to jump back and forth between apps. You can, of course, do split-screen with most Android phones nowadays but smartphone screens are just too small to make more than one app on screen useful.


With the Fold 2, I can comfortably run two apps side-by-side complete with drag and drop functionality, allowing me to drag text and images from a browser into an open email or tee up a meeting time while having my calendar open.

The Fold 2 feels incredibly polished and a monumental improvement over the original, which felt more like an engineering prototype rather than a finished product. It delivers on the promise of being a tablet when you need it and a smartphone when you don’t with very little compromise in either department.

The huge shift in usability triggered by the advent of flexible screens is only set to accelerate in the coming year with every major smartphone maker working on foldables of their own that should see them reach more accessible price points sooner rather than later.

TCL, for instance, has committed to delivering an affordable foldable, while also showing off a high-end tri-fold smartphone concept that cleverly uses two hinges that fold out in opposite directions to produce a 10-inch screen when unfolded.

TCL’s tri-fold concept phone has two hinges for three size options.

We’re also starting to see some companies invest in expandable or rollable displays, with Oppo recently showing off the “Oppo X”, which uses a flexible OLED and a motor inside the phone to transform between a regular 6.7-inch size and a tablet-like 7.4-inch size at the swipe of a button.

It’s no secret that the lack of innovation in the market has given consumers less of a reason to upgrade, but if the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is any indication, flexible displays will be the canvas used to deliver fresh utility and experiences that will redefine what a smartphone can do.

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