Microsoft's Surface Duo was finally revealed after almost a year of teasing just earlier this week, and our readers seem pretty polarized about it — and the whole category of folding phones in general. To be fair, there are a lot of disadvantages, like sky-high price tags and durability concerns. In my mind, we've reached the second generation of foldables, and some of those issues are starting to be resolved (outside price, anyway). With the development made so far, I'm curious to know if you'd consider a foldable for your next phone.
Samsung has so far launched a pair offoldable phones, both with sky-high prices. While as a brand, it can feel nice to have a couple ultra-premium phones on your store shelves that are effectively reserved for your most well-to-do customers, even a fancy folding phone is going to need a sensibly priced model in order to drive real volumes. It looks like Samsung may be catching on to that, as the company's rumored to be working on a cheaper variant of its $2,000 Galaxy Fold.
The progress we've made with folding phones in just the last year is stunning. We went from teasing the concept behind a glass box to several shipping products in just about no time, culminating almost precisely one year later in this: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. It's a folding vision from the future, loaded with flaws and bent like a scythe in preparation of the Flat Phone Reaping. Even if you don't buy the Z Flip (and you shouldn't), your current phone's days are numbered.
There's been plenty of speculation as to how Samsung would carry on with its smartphone release schedule. In addition to the Galaxy S and Note launches in the winter and summer, respectively, we also now have the foldable devices that has yet to settle with a regular release period. But for the time being, the company has telegraphed that it will put out new Note and foldable phones later this year.
When Huawei announced the Mate X foldable phone back in February 2019, it didn't expect it would have to delay the device's release twice due to concerns over its folding screen's quality. When he Mate X finally came out in November, it unfortunately shipped with Android 9 and hasn't been updated to Google's latest offering since then. Thankfully, the device is now receiving Android 10.
Following a decade of seeing black, rectangular glass slabs grow in size while swapping their backs between metal and glass, foldables are taking over to become the face of phone fetish. The nostalgia-invoking Motorola Razr went on sale not too long ago and was closely followed by Samsung’s clamshell Galaxy Z Flip. With the two foldables officially out now, it’s time to revisit this comparison to find out which one deserves your dough.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is the first folding phone with a glass display — an impressive feat, though so far, it hasn't exactly proven to be very durable. The company still believes in its product and has decided to commercialize and scale up production of the Z Flip's display cover (not the OLED panel itself, but the layer on top of it). The ultra-thin glass (UTG) will be available for purchase for other manufacturers building foldable devices.
Yesterday, Samsung launched its second foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip, which could shape up to be a more than worthy competitor to the Motorola Razr. In cooperation with Google, the company has added a nifty split-screen feature to the phone that divides apps' interfaces into top and bottom halves when you fold it into a laptop-esque "flex mode." This innovation turns things like Duo video calls into hands-free operations with quick access to the mute option, the end call button, and the camera switcher. Now Google has shared with The Verge that future foldables from other manufacturers will be able to implement this mode, too.
Samsung’s first attempt at foldables was at the receiving end of a lot of criticism, mainly due to a fragile build, which even catalyzed the recall of review units, as well as a luxury price tag that deterred potential buyers. Despite some initial hiccups, Samsung got very close to the half-a-million worldwide sales figure—a milestone to marvel at for a first-gen novelty. This bumpy ride taught Samsung some critical lessons and helped it double down its efforts on the follow-up Fold. The result, rumors say, is a foldable phone that better fits your pocket—both physically and pecuniarily.