After a long wait and scepticism around the legitimacy of rumours and leaks, foldable phones are finally here. The abrupt but anticipated launch of foldable cell phone technology has swiftly been deemed the leading trend in the mobile community. The tech has picked up so quickly that there are now rumours of its application in laptops, televisions and other devices.
In the mobile sphere, Samsung and Huawei are leading the race with both tech giants launching their foldable edition at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 and the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019.
Samsung has coined their device the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The Galaxy Fold will be available in May or June, with an expected price tag of R28 000. Considering the fact that a non-foldable iPhone XS 512GB goes for around R30 000, the Fold’s price tag is quite reasonable if one takes into account its superior specs. The Galaxy Fold boasts an impressive 12GB of RAM with 512GB of storage. Samsung always gives its flagship’s camera the necessary attention and the Galaxy Fold is no different with a triple 16MP+12Mp+12mp rear lens. The device also has a split (due to the fold) 4,380mAh battery.
In typical Huawei style, they kept up with the movement and launched the Huawei Mate X. The Mate X comes with a 6.60-inch primary display with a resolution of 1148×2480 pixels. It also features a 6.38-inch as its second display, with a resolution of 892×2480 pixels and an 8.00-inch screen as its third display, with a resolution of 2200×2480 pixels. The Mate X has less RAM than the Galaxy Fold with 8GB, but that amount of memory is in no way inadequate. Huawei surpasses Samsung with a 4,500mAh battery and the advent of 5G network technology. The Mate X will set consumers back R38 000.
It’s safe to say that brand loyalty may come into play when considering the purchase, but an R8 000 price difference is sure to divert some Huawei users to the Samsung alternative. The devices are also quite different in the physical and ergonomic design; consumers may tend toward their preference in this regard too.
Tech expert Dion Chang states that the foldable concept has evolved beyond handheld devices. One such product is LG’s roll-able OLED TV, which was revealed at CES 2019. “At MWC 2019, smartphone provider Nubia unveiled a finished version of its alpha concept wearable device with a 4-inch, flexible, organic light-emitting diode display screen that wraps around the user’s wrist. The device has smartphone connectivity and other features,” says Chang.
Whatever your brand preference, and whether you even feel foldable phones and devices are necessary, “foldable’s” definitely have a future on the tech radar.