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charlesarthur : foldable   47

Huawei Mate X is supposedly being released in China this month • Android Police
Manuel Vonau:
<p>the company has confirmed that it's launching its own take on foldables in China this month, while a video showing off the device and its retail box has been making its rounds on Twitter.

Chinese outlet cnBeta says the phone is slated to be released in China by the end of this month, though it warns that initial supply will likely not last too long due to low production yield. The Mate X was previously scheduled for June, but following the Galaxy Fold debacle revolving around dirt and dust entering the device's hinge and display, Huawei has apparently decided to redesign vital parts of its product as well to ensure it won't face the same issues Samsung already had to work through.</p>


Outward folding screen, and the Google ban almost surely means no Google apps. China-only, which is probably going to be fortunate, because I can't see an outward-folding plastic screen surviving very long in the real user world.
foldable  huawei 
3 days ago by charlesarthur
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is great... if you live in a bubble • WSJ
<p>Samsung’s relaunched foldable phone fixes some of the first issues but now comes with a long list of warnings about handling the phone carefully. WSJ's Joanna Stern retreats to a sealed dome in the woods to review the innovative device.</p>


Another video review, which has Stern's signature blend of laconic, sardonic, and yes-but-in-the-real-world observation. Unparalleled. She brings out all the Fold's good points - and then points out the bad ones. Perfectly done.
samsung  foldable  review 
10 days ago by charlesarthur
A battery with a twist • ETH Zurich
:
<p>Following the design of commercial batteries, this new type of battery is built in layers like a sandwich. However, it marks the first time that researchers have used flexible components to keep the whole battery bendable and stretchable. “To date, no one has employed exclusively flexible components as systematically as we have in creating a lithium-ion battery,” Markus Niederberger [professor for multifunctional materials at ETH Zurich] says.

The two current collectors for the anode and the cathode consist of bendable polymer composite that contains electrically conductive carbon and that also serves as the outer shell. On the interior surface of the composite, the researchers applied a thin layer of micronsized silver flakes. Due to the way the flakes overlap like roof tiles, they don’t lose contact with one another when the elastomer is stretched. This guarantees the conductivity of the current collector even if it is subjected to extensive stretching. And in the event that the silver flakes do in fact lose contact with each other, the electrical current can still flow through the carbon-containing composite, albeit more weakly…

…More and more applications for a battery like this are emerging every day. Well-known manufacturers of mobile phones are vying with each other to produce devices with foldable screens. Other possibilities include rollable displays for computers, smartwatches and tablets, or functional textiles that contain bendable electronics – and all of these require a flexible power supply. “For instance, you could sew our battery right into the clothing,” Niederberger says. What’s important is, in the event of battery leakage, to ensure that the liquids that come out cause no damage. This is where the team’s electrolyte offers a considerable advantage.

However, Niederberger stresses that more research is necessary to optimise the flexible battery before they consider commercialising it.</p>


Of course gadget sites are saying "ooh, foldable phones more foldable!" but I'd say the application is much more in clothing, or devices that have to be shaped or flexible. Smartphones, even foldable ones, are a solved problem, relatively.
battery  foldable 
22 days ago by charlesarthur
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will finally be released in the US on Friday • BGR
Zach Epstein:
<p>The Galaxy Fold will be sold by AT+T, which has proven over the years that it will sell literally any cell phone made by any company regardless of how good or bad it may be. No other US wireless carriers will offer the handset at launch, but an unlocked version will be available in Samsung stores and on Samsung’s website. As far as pricing goes, it’ll cost $1,980 despite a recent rumor that the relaunched Galaxy Fold might end up being a bit cheaper than Samsung had initially announced.

Our advice: save yourself $2,000 and skip it. Word on the street is the redesigned Galaxy Fold can still break if dust or dirt works its way into certain parts of the phone, which is pretty much inevitable despite how careful you might be. And even if that weren’t the case, the Galaxy Fold still has an awful design with massive bezels and a huge notch chomped out of the corner of the main display. The company is working on much better designs for its second-generation foldable smartphone that will be released next year, and several other folding phones are also expected in 2020.</p>


It's going to be fun seeing the reviews, and then the scratched screens after, oh, let's give it two weeks' use.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
24 days ago by charlesarthur
The Galaxy Fold is still extremely fragile, and Samsung knows it • The Verge
Chaim Gartenberg:
<p>Samsung’s video exhorts owners to handle their $1,000-plus phones with kid gloves. Some of Samsung’s requests are more logical: the company advises against adding any additional screen protectors (which could interfere with the folding display). Others, though, like not applying “excessive pressure” to the touchscreen when tapping it, are a bit more unusual for a phone. Samsung also cautions that the Fold isn’t water or dustproof and that the magnets that hold it shut can interfere with other magnetic products, like credit credits, hotel room keys, or medical devices.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tZBk_Hb-X0w" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Unfortunately, despite all those warnings, it looks like the new Fold is still almost absurdly easy to break. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZBk_Hb-X0w">As JerryRigEverything shows off in a comprehensive durability test</a>, many of the issues that plagued the first attempt at the Fold are still here: the screen is still extremely soft and easy to scratch; even fingernails are capable of damaging the display. (Samsung’s warning about tapping it too hard makes more sense now.)

JerryRigEverything’s tests also found that it was far too easy for debris to make it inside the display, which is troubling. Other parts of the test were more encouraging. The Fold does hold up admirably against attempts to fold it backward, which is a testament to the level of engineering that Samsung has put into the physical hardware.</p>


"The Galaxy Fold [internal screen] has a hardness comparable to Play-doh, soggy bread or a $2,000 stick of chewing gum," says JerryRigEverything calmly. It's somewhere around 2 on the 10-denominated <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness">Mohs scale</a>. The outside screen (and most smartphone screens) is about 7.
samsung  foldable  hardness 
28 days ago by charlesarthur
Microsoft is working on foldable Surface devices with liquid-powered hinges • The Verge
Tom Warren:
<p>Microsoft has been working on a dual-screen Surface device that may well resemble the company’s Courier concept. The software giant is expected to tease the device at its Surface hardware event next month, but new patents show that Microsoft’s work goes far beyond just dual-screen hardware. A new patent, spotted by WindowsUnited, has surfaced that reveals Microsoft has been working on a special hinge that uses liquid to reduce the stress on flexible and foldable displays.

The liquid can be filled inside cavities around the flexible display to help it bend and move into different positions. Microsoft’s example shows a device with two separate sides and a flexible OLED display that extends across the entire device. Microsoft has long been focused on complex and impressive hinge work with its Surface devices, and this particular hinge is described in a lot of detail in the patent filing.</p>


Microsoft doesn't make phones, though. I could believe that it's making a Surface where you never detach the keyboard. But the hinge arrangement is quite messy.
microsoft  foldable 
4 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Huawei Mate X initial review: foldable champ • Pocket Lint
Cam Bunton:
<p>Folded up, from the front the Mate X has the appearance of a large regular smartphone, and that's arguably the Huawei method's biggest advantage over the Galaxy Fold. It's still very much usable as a smartphone even when it's closed, that full screen on the front doesn't pose the limitations that Samsung's outer screen might. 

Of course, this poses an issue when it comes to durability. Since there's no flexible glass on the market yet, current foldable smartphones rely on a transparent polymer covered by a protective film, similar to a screen protector. And that means that when it's shut, there's potential for that folded edge to be exposed to the elements, and that includes any rough impurities in your pocket, inevitably leading to scuffing; which is why Huawei is supplying the Mate X with a gorgeous leather case. 

In appearance, it doesn't look too dissimilar to the type of soft leather case you might get for your sunglasses. In fact, it's just about the right size for sunglasses too (we were curious, so we tried it). It's soft, and slim, feels great in the hand and has a large magnetic portion inside the flap, to keep it securely fastened when shut, while also making it easy to open and get to your phone than if it had a clasp or fastener of some kind. 

What we liked about the Huawei Mate X is that with the phone unfolded and opened up in its larger form factor, using the full square screen, the hinge feels surprisingly sturdy and solid, like it locks into place and stays relatively rigid, and needs a little force to fold it back up again. That means you don't have to worry about the phone wobbling or feeling fragile when you're using it this way. 

The resistance offered by the hinge also means that it does need a little catch to hold it in place when folded, coupled with a release button which - when pressed - releases the display. Once released, the screen springs out part of the way, and then needs unfolding manually into its open, flat position. In use, it's addictively clicky when pressed. So much so, we found ourselves repeatedly releasing, clicking the screen back in place and releasing it, over and over again (sorry Huawei). Let's just hope it's built to last. </p>


Let's just hope! Price of hope: €2,299. (About the same in £.) So it looks great but then you have to cover it with a case and then you have to take the case off because it's in the way.
huawei  foldable 
5 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung and EE bring Galaxy Fold 5G to the UK • Samsung Newsroom U.K.
<p>Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has today announced that the Galaxy Fold 5G will be available to buy from 18th September in the UK via an exclusive operator partnership with EE, as well as from Samsung Experience Stores. The device will also be displayed at Samsung KX, Harrods and Selfridges for customers to experience.
 
The Galaxy Fold 5G, which will be available in Cosmos Black and Space Silver, pushes the boundaries of innovation and introduces a whole new smartphone category. Armed with 5G network capabilities, the Galaxy Fold 5G is a device built for the future…

…The Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G will be available from Samsung at an RRP of £1,900 and all devices will come with wireless Galaxy Buds and a Galaxy Fold 5G Aramid case. EE price plans will be announced in due course.</p>


EE doesn't offer any Sim-only 5G plans, so it's impossible to say what extra you might be paying annually. EE <a href="https://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-phones/pay-monthly/gallery?search=%3A%3Aspeed%3A5G&CTTag=CT_Sal_Note10_EEhomepage_H2_Buynow_Q3_2019">offers seven 5G phones</a>, with the cheapest being £44 per month for a refurbished Galaxy S10.

For comparison, the Galaxy Note10+ 5G costs £1,099 for the 256GB model (with no network connectivity). EE wants <a href="https://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-phones/pay-monthly/samsung-galaxy-note10-plus-5g-256gb-aura-glow/details#choosePlanAnchor">£84 per month for unlimited text, data and talktime</a> at 5G - but it doesn't say how long the contract lasts. 12, 18, 24 months? It's never specified. Let me know if you find out. A 12-month contract would cost £1,008; an 18-month one, £1,512. A 24-month one (which I suspect it is) would be £2,016. Also, the price would rise by inflation (RPI) every March. As ever, it's better to buy the phone and get a Sim.
samsung  foldable 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung's Galaxy Fold will go on sale on September 6 in South Korea: source • Reuters
Ju-min Park:
<p>Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will go on sale on Friday in South Korea, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The highly anticipated device from the world’s top smartphone maker was originally due to hit the US market in April but the launch was delayed by screen defects detected in samples.

The phone will cost about 2.4 million won ($1,980) for South Korean buyers, the source from one of the country’s major mobile carriers told Reuters, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The source did not provide further details.</p>


Not cheap. Not cheap at all. If it isn't robust, Samsung's reputation will take quite a hit.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung plans 6.7in foldable phone that collapses into square • Bloomberg
Sohee Kim:
<p>The South Korean smartphone giant is working on a device with a 6.7in inner display that shrinks to a pocketable square when it’s folded inward like a clamshell, according to people familiar with the product’s development. Samsung is seeking to make its second bendable gadget more affordable and thinner than this year’s Galaxy Fold, they said. The launch of the successor device may, however, hinge on how well the Fold performs after its imminent launch, one of the people said…

…The new foldable phone will have a hole-punch selfie camera at the top of the inner display, just as on the recently released Samsung Galaxy Note 10, according to one person familiar with the device. On the outside, it will have two cameras that face the rear when the phone is open or the front when it’s flipped closed.

“I’m intrigued to see if a manufacturer can deliver a clamshell design that takes the current smartphone footprint and lets you fold in half like a wallet in a similar manner to mobile phones of yesterday such as the iconic Motorola Razr,” said Ben Wood, an analyst with CCS Insight. “That’s what the world is probably waiting for.”</p>


I don't think clamshells were the dominant form factor when it was possible to have them. I never used one, personally. Foldables remain an unknown.
foldable  samsung 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Pre-register for the Samsung Galaxy Fold (again) • Android Authority
C. Scott Brown:
<p>If you had your sights set on buying the Samsung Galaxy Fold, you probably pre-registered to buy the device back in April when the company opened up that system. However, all pre-registrations — and eventual pre-orders — were canceled when things took a turn.

Now, Samsung is re-opening pre-registrations for the Galaxy Fold in the United States.

To be clear, pre-registration is not pre-ordering. With a pre-reg, all you’re doing is letting Samsung know that you are interested in buying the Fold at some point in the future. By pre-registering, you’ll be notified by email as soon as Samsung opens the new pre-order system.

However, it is possible that Samsung could skip pre-orders. The sign-up page doesn’t make any mention about pre-orders at all, so it’s possible Samsung could simply notify people once the device is available for sale.

Unfortunately, there is still no word on the actual re-launch date of the company’s first foldable smartphone. Although the re-emergence of this pre-registration page likely means we’re only a few weeks out, or possibly a month at most.</p>


Taking the temperature before shipping; makes sense. But registration isn't ordering, as Brown points out; so will those who "pre-register" all go on to order? Or might some have second thoughts when they see the (still unknown) price?
samsung  foldable 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Huawei Mate X release date pushed back, but next version may have even more screens • TechRadar
David Lumb:
<p>The foldable Huawei Mate X is unlikely to come out before November, which means a delay from the previously slated September launch, TechRadar learned at a press event at Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters today.

There's no possibility of a September launch date anymore, which leaves the door open for the Samsung Galaxy Fold to be the first foldable to market. However, Huawei is certain the Mate X will launch before the end of 2019.

We also got wind of more exciting news: the next Mate X could have more screens, and it might come out as soon as next year.

Where will the Huawei Mate X follow-up fit more displays? By swapping out the steel rear cover in the current Huawei Mate X with a glass back, and those glass surfaces could become usable, touchable displays. 

It’s a big engineering challenge to say the least – it might end up being years before the issues are worked out and we get glass backs on foldable phones. We don't even have them on the upcoming Mate X's 8in front display yet.</p>


More screens. Suuuuure. Why not also say it'll be origami and fold into a swan when not in use?

It's been fascinating to watch Samsung and Huawei racing to be second on this. It's like watching two runners, both trying to lose. "Oooh my calf! Agh! No, go ahead, you have it." "Fine, I'll-- aah my tendon! That's it for me I'm afraid!" If foldables are the next big thing, they're suffering a midwife shortage.
huawei  samsung  foldable 
9 weeks ago by charlesarthur
The Galaxy Fold’s exact release date might’ve finally leaked, and it’s horrible news • BGR
Zach Epstein:
<p>According to South Korean financial news site The Investor, Samsung plans to release the Galaxy Fold during the third week of September, between September 18th and September 20th.

Ouch.

Smartphone launches typically take place on Friday, so September 20th is the most likely release date. Regardless of which of those three days Samsung lands on though, it likely won’t matter. Do you know what else is probably going to happen that week? Yup, Apple will probably release its new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max, and iPhone 11R. In other words, there might not be a worse week during the entire year for Samsung to release a new smartphone, let alone a $2,000 flagship phone.

Based on Apple’s iPhone release schedules in the past, September 20th will indeed be the exact day Apple chooses to release its new iPhone 11 lineup. Aside from the iPhone X that was delayed until November, Apple typically chooses the second to last Friday in September to release new iPhone models. That was the case with the iPhone 8 last year, the iPhone 7 the year before, and the iPhone 6 back in 2014. The iPhone 6s launched on the last Friday of September in 2015, but only because the month ended on a Wednesday the following week.</p>


The problem is, the launch will go under the radar but when the flaws start showing up, it'll be a couple of weeks down the line, in a relative news drought.
samsung  foldable 
11 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Rumor: Samsung may drop initial Galaxy Fold launch for smaller markets • SamMobile
"Adnan F":
<p>Rumour has it that Samsung has decided to drop the initial Galaxy Fold launch for smaller markets. The company was previously testing the latest firmware for all markets where the Galaxy Fold was going to be released. It suggested that Samsung would make the device available in quite a few markets at the same time. That would have certainly made sense.

Fans have already been made to wait for a long time. They were really looking forward to the company’s foldable smartphone but have been unable to even get their hands on a demo unit. However, it’s possible that Samsung may only launch the Galaxy Fold in a limited number of markets at first.

Some of the markets where firmware testing has been scaled back include countries like Italy and the Netherlands. The latest firmware is currently being tested for major markets like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and India (where we recently spotted the Galaxy Fold being tested out in the wild). This is different to how Samsung normally tests firmware for new flagship devices. For example, the latest Galaxy Note 10 firmware is being tested across all markets. This suggests that there won’t be any unnecessary launch delays in some markets.</p>


"Fans have already been made to wait for a long time"?? It's been three months, tops. I think the Note will come out first.
samsung  foldable 
12 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold: the foldable phone is about to launch • Bloomberg
Sam Kim and Sohee Kim:
<p>Samsung Electronics Co. has completed a two-month redesign of the Galaxy Fold to fix embarrassing screen failures that forced its delay, people familiar with the matter say, allowing the Korean giant to debut its marquee smartphone in time for the crucial holiday season.

The world’s largest smartphone maker is now in the final stages of producing a commercial version but can’t yet pin down a date to begin sales, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified describing an internal effort. Samsung pulled the device after several publications including Bloomberg News reported problems with test versions, such as screen malfunctions that emerged after a film on the display was peeled off.

Korea’s biggest company is trying to move past yet another product faux pas. It has now stretched the protective film to wrap around the entire screen and flow into the outer bezels so it would be impossible to peel off by hand, said the people, who have seen the latest versions. It re-engineered the hinge, pushing it slightly upward from the screen (it’s now flush with the display) to help stretch the film further when the phone opens.</p>


So the first Galaxy Fold that people buy will be the Galaxy Fold 2. All the people whothumped their money down for the first, unreleased, one should count themselves lucky. And still no date. I wonder if Huawei's problems have eased the pressure on Samsung to get this out of the door.
samsung  foldable 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Rumor: Samsung’s next foldable will be a clamshell device • Android Authority
Scott Adam Gordon:
<p>Samsung is already working on its next flexible display smartphone, according to speculation from ETNews. In an article published yesterday, the website suggested Samsung’s next folding screen device would be a clamshell-style product with an outward-facing, 1in display.

The phone would seemingly be more portable than the Galaxy Fold, which functions as a hybrid between phone and tablet. The future foldable is tipped to be about the size of a regular flagship, with its display coming in at around 6.7in when unfolded. The Galaxy Fold has a 7.3in screen when unfolded and a nearly 4:3 aspect ratio.

ETNews didn’t say whether the 1in screen on the outside would be touch-enabled, but it did say it would offer limited functionality. It might operate something like the always-on displays found on other Samsung phones.</p>


One inch seems awfully small for a screen. The idea is that it folds in the middle from top to bottom, so that.. well, I'm not really sure how this benefits humanity, but apparently we don't have enough folding phones in our lives. Not that actually we have any yet, of course.
samsung  foldable 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Huawei exec: the foldable Mate X with Android intact to launch by September • TechRadar
Matt Swider:
<p>The foldable Huawei Mate X is still coming and we know when it'll launch: September or sooner, according to a Huawei executive who spoke to TechRadar this week.

"It's coming in September – at the latest," said Vincent Pang, President of Huawei's Western European Region, while visiting New York City. "Probably earlier, but definitely September is guaranteed."

Where will the Huawei Mate X launch? "Any country that has 5G," Pang told us, making sure to remind us that Huawei's foldable phone is a 5G phone. 

This was likely stressed because the Samsung Galaxy Fold launched with a 4G LTE version (before ultimately being recalled), with a 5G version only spoken about once and never officially priced.

Of course, Pang's "any country that has 5G" comment comes with a caveat. The Mate X isn't coming to the US, which is no surprise given the Huawei ban in the US…

…will the Mate X actually run Android and its apps when it launches?

"Yes," Pang told us. "Because it has already been announced," suggesting that it may fall outside of Trump administration's ban on US companies (including software companies like Google) from dealing with Huawei.</p>


Minor detail: the Galaxy Fold didn't launch. They sent some to reviewers. Makes sense that the Mate will have Android - it was kitted out before the US ban - but updates might be in question.

September feels a long, long way off, though. Yet it'll be here in a smattering of weeks.
huawei  foldable 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold is now ready for launch: Samsung Display exec • Korean Investor
Kim Young-won:
<p>Samsung Electronics’ first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will launch soon, as “most” issues linked to the screen have been solved, a Samsung Display executive has revealed.

“Most of the display problems have been ironed out, and the Galaxy Fold is ready to hit the market,” said Samsung Display Vice President Kim Seong-cheol in his speech at a conference held by industry organization The Korean Information Display Society on June 18 in Seoul.

Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, is the main supplier of the folding screen.

The Fold was initially scheduled to hit the shelves in April in the US and in May in Korea, but the launch has been delayed after reviewers complained of flickering screens and creases in the middle of the screen made after repeated folds.

It is rumored that the launch will take place in July before the tech giant unveils its flagship for the latter half, Galaxy Note 10, but the tech giant has denied the rumor.
</p>


<em>Most</em> of the display problems. Most of them. OK, not all of them. Quite a lot of them. Nearly all. <em>Most</em> of the problems with the thing that is what you look at and manipulate every moment you're using it. Yeah, those problems? Most of them are gone.

I'm trying to imagine what sort of mindset you need to go onto a stage and say those words. To be quite truthful, I'm finding it difficult.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Huawei CEO says it underestimated impact of US ban, forecasts revenue dip • Reuters
Sijia Jiang:
<p>Huawei’s international smartphone shipments will drop 40%, Ren said on Monday, without specifying a period. Bloomberg reported on Sunday that the tech giant was preparing for a 40% to 60% decline in international smartphone shipments.

Huawei had reported revenue of 721.2bn yuan ($104.16bn) last year and said a few months ago it expected revenue this year to jump to $125bn. [The forecast now is $100bn.]

“We did not expect they would attack us on so many aspects,” Ren said but added that he expects a revival in the business in 2021.

“We cannot get components supply, cannot participate in many international organizations, cannot work closely with many universities, cannot use anything with U.S. components, and cannot even establish connection with networks that use such components.”</p>


Also, a little hilariously, Huawei has also <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-usa/huawei-delays-global-launch-of-foldable-phone-by-three-months-idUSKCN1TF0ZD">delayed the launch of its foldable phone by three months</a>, to some time in September. With Samsung having delayed its foldable launch by a continually unspecified period, there's a game of reverse chicken going on - who can hold off launching longer?
huawei  smartphone  foldable 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold reportedly won't ship in June • Android Police
Taylor Kerns:
<p>The integrity of the Samsung Galaxy Fold's design was shown to be questionable (at best) shortly after pre-release models reached the hands of the first round of reviewers. Debris made its way into their screens, causing several early hardware failures, and release was delayed from April 26 to an unspecified later date. AT&T made it seem like the new date would be mid-June, but a new report out of Korea contradicts that.

According to the report, quality control is taking longer than Samsung expected. An unnamed official with the company is quoted as saying the release date is still undecided, and that the company will make an announcement to that end in the next few weeks. The report also notes that with Huawei's ongoing difficulties caused by US sanctions, Samsung isn't as concerned about beating that company's foldable phone, the Mate X, to market.</p>


I think the Huawei saga has a lot of Samsung engineers breathing huge sighs of relief. There's really no pressure on them to hurry this, and they ought to take the time to get it right. (Mumble mumble Apple keyboard designs mumble mumble.)
samsung  foldable 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Lenovo shows off the world’s first ‘foldable PC’ • The Verge
Chaim Gartenberg:
<p>Lenovo has just announced what it says is the world’s first “foldable PC:” a prototype ThinkPad that iterates the foldable tech we’ve already seen from phones on a much bigger scale.

It’s not just a cool tech demo, either: Lenovo has been developing this for over three years and has plans to launch a finished device in 2020 as part of its premium ThinkPad X1 brand. The goal here is a premium product that will be a laptop-class device, not an accessory or secondary computer like a tablet might be.

Cool factor aside, though, why build a folding PC? The answer is largely portability. Conceptually, it’s the opposite of what most of the foldable phones out there are trying to do. There, companies like Samsung and Huawei are trying to take a device the size of a regular phone and make them bigger. But the idea behind the folding ThinkPad is to take a full-sized PC and make it smaller.

The result is a 13.3-inch 4:3 2K OLED display that can fold up to about the size of a hardcover book (we don’t have the exact weight yet, but Lenovo says it’s less than two pounds, which is about as much as a hardcover copy of one of the larger Harry Potter books). That’s already enough to put it on the lighter side of the portable computer spectrum, but the size savings are really when you fold it in half, making it dramatically smaller than a regular laptop.</p>


Colour me sceptical. This looks like a foldable-screen version of the 2016 Yoga Book, which was (also) <a href="https://theoverspill.blog/2016/09/06/lenovos-yoga-book-tablet-brilliant-idea-for-15-minutes/">superficially impressive but in the end didn't sell</a>. We've have folding PCs for ages. They're called laptops, and they have real keyboards.
lenovo  foldable  pc 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Electronics says no anticipated shipping date yet for Galaxy Fold • Reuters
<p>Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it cannot confirm the shipping date for its foldable device Galaxy Fold yet and apologized to its pre-order customers in the United States for the delay.

The world’s top smartphone maker delayed global sales of the splashy $1,980 foldable phone after reviewers discovered problems with its display, dealing a setback to Samsung and its efforts to showcase its innovation.

“If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st, your order will be canceled automatically,” the South Korean tech giant’s US subsidiary told Galaxy Fold pre-order customers in an email late on Monday, which was confirmed by a Samsung spokeswoman.

As per US regulations, Samsung was required to notify customers that the pre-orders would be canceled in the event the product had not been shipped by May 31, it said in a separate statement to Reuters.</p>

Which is going to come first, Brexit or the Galaxy Fold actually going on sale and arriving in punters' hands?
Galaxyfold  samsung  foldable 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Here's why we think Galaxy Folds are failing • iFixit
Kevin Purdy:
<p>Knowing how OLEDs react to prying, moisture, oxygen, or nearly anything, it’s plain to see—from reviewers’ photos alone—that the Fold is literally inviting trouble into its fragile innards.

In pictures posted in The Verge’s hands-on impressions (before their Fold review unit broke), you can clearly see gaps at the top and bottom of the hinge when the full screen is open. A close-up of the hinge on its side, with accumulated pocket detritus, makes it even clearer. And the back of the Fold, even with the hinge closed or partially open, doesn’t look airtight.

“These are some of the biggest ingress points I’ve seen on a modern phone,” [iFixit lead teardown engineer Sam] Lionheart said. “Unless there’s some kind of magic membrane in there, dust will absolutely get in the back.” It’s important to note, too, that Samsung has offered no IP rating for the Fold. [IP rating indicates protection against dust and/or water ingress.]

Bohn finds it baffling the way his Fold unit broke. Especially because the first time he saw a “bump” under the Fold screen was late one night. After consulting with Samsung, he closed the phone and put it aside until the morning. The next day, examining the phone, Bohn saw two bumps under the screen.

“It seems odd to me that it appeared where it did,” Bohn said. “It’s hard to believe that I would not have noticed a piece of debris inching its way up from the bottom.” To us, this suggests the debris, both pieces, may have gotten in from the back hinge. Backing this up is Swiss reviewer Lorenz Keller, who tweeted at Bohn that his Fold also developed a bump, at a point that was the mirror opposite of Bohn’s defects. Keller’s bump eventually went away, which may be the result of the hinge being open enough to allow debris back out.</p>


Maybe test it outside the lab next time before setting a release date. Though Samsung is presently suggesting it will go ahead with the launch, in June. Sounds hopelessly optimistic: these are fundamental design faults.
samsung  foldable  design 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Innovate? Big tech would rather throw us a broken Samsung Galaxy Fold • The Guardian
I wrote a thing:
<p>are there no new boundaries to explore in technology other than phone-tablets? (And why is nobody calling the Fold a “phablet”, a word coined when phones started to grow to the size of bread slices?) Again and again, technology companies show a peculiar deafness to users’ desires. Facebook has the rare distinction of having been cited in a United Nations report on genocide, and was used by Russia to try to steer the US presidential election. So what’s it doing about that? Good news: political ads will in future have teeny-tiny labels you can click to find out who funded them. That’s going to fix it all!

It doesn’t end there, unfortunately. Anyone who has visited San Francisco, at the upper end of Silicon Valley, knows it desperately needs a solution to homelessness: which is why millions of dollars are being poured into scooter startups so that moneyed people can get away from them faster. Similarly, America’s health system is absurdly expensive, so tech companies have invented systems that let you scan a cheque and email the image rather than posting the thing, thus saving you the cost of a stamp.

Somewhere, it’s all gone a bit off-kilter.</p>
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung's reputation founders on rush for lead in folding phones • Bloomberg
Sam King, Mark Gurman and Min Jeong Lee:
<p>Initial prototypes would crack like a dried sheet of paper if folded about 10,000 times, people familiar with the matter said. Still, Samsung recognized its potential. It started to recruit mechanical engineers who could devote themselves to building a hinge the size of a finger, after the company realized the key to preventing cracks was to evenly distribute pressure. Engineers were encouraged to file as many patents as possible to prevent competition from creeping into a market that didn’t exist at the time, the people said, asking not to be identified as they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.

All seemed on track till last week, when reports of damage to review models started to surface, from a malfunctioning screen after a thin film was peeled off to a display that flickered wildly. Samsung retrieved the units but initially maintained the product would launch as planned on April 26. On Monday, executives convened at their headquarters and debated for hours before finally pulling the plug, the people said.

In initial investigations, Samsung engineers determined that removing the top layer of film -- something they hadn’t anticipated users would do - damaged the product, people familiar with the matter said. Its designers had been preoccupied with perfecting the so-called crease where the device folded, they said.</p>


<a href="https://daringfireball.net/2019/04/know_when_to_fold_em">John Gruber's article about this screwup</a> points out that someone in QC must have noticed. So did marketing override them? Or did they not notice, which would be worse?
samsung  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold smartphone release delayed • WSJ
Timothy W. Martin:
<p> Samsung Electronics is delaying the rollout of its Galaxy Fold smartphone until at least next month after some tech reviewers said their test devices had malfunctioned.

The Galaxy Fold, the industry’s first mainstream foldable-screen device, was slated to start selling in the US on Friday, with a price tag of nearly $2,000. But Samsung, citing the problems reported by reviewers, said Monday it plans to announce a new release date for the phone in the coming weeks.

“Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge,” the company said. “There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Samsung’s plans to delay the phone’s release, with people familiar with the matter pointing to problems affecting the handset’s hinge and its main screen.</p>


Huawei's isn't due until the autumn. I don't think it's going to make a lot of noise about it. I highly recommend Joanna Stern's <a href="https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/this-was-supposed-to-be-a-samsung-galaxy-fold-video-review/0208CCB5-1915-4ACC-B389-75631AE6EF32">video non-review of the Fold</a>.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold review: broken dream • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>On an objective basis, using the same standards we apply to any smartphone, the screen on the Galaxy Fold is bad. And that is wild to say because, again, subjectively, I deeply enjoy using it.

The biggest issue everybody wants to know about is the crease. There’s just no pretending that it isn’t there or that you don’t see it or feel it when you run your finger across it. Especially when you’re looking at it from an angle, it’s just a really obvious line through the middle of the screen. What’s worse, it’s a really obvious line that has two different color temperatures on either side of it when you look at it from an angle.

But when you start using the Fold, it tends to disappear. I stopped seeing it; it is actually difficult to spot when you’re looking at the Fold straight-on, which means that my subjective experience is just that it’s a great little 7-inch tablet. The screen is just slightly smaller than the iPad mini’s, but the Galaxy Fold has radically smaller bezels.

If that were the whole story, I’d tell you that the crease is a sort of modern version of the notch: a thing that is annoying but ultimately something you can get used to. I could tell you that it’s one of the things that is just going to happen on a folding phone, then move on to say that the colors are super vivid, the text is sharp, and it gets plenty bright.

But I can’t tell you that because the crease is just the start of this screen’s issues.</p>

Bohn basically assumes that Samsung is going to figure out why multiple review screens failed before it starts selling them to consumers but even so essentially says it's not worth buying. Samsung has postponed its launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Over to you, Huawei.
samsung  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold screen breaking and flickering for some reviewers • CNBC
Todd Haselton:
<p>Samsung’s $1,980 Galaxy Fold phone is breaking for some users after a day or two of use. A review unit given to CNBC by Samsung is also completely unusable after just two days of use.

The phone has only been given to gadget reviewers, but some of the screens appear to be disconnecting and permanently flashing on or off.

The Verge’s Dieter Bohn posted earlier on Wednesday that his phone appears to have a defective hinge with a “small bulge” that he can feel that’s causing the screen to “slightly distort.” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says his “review unit is completely broken just two days in,” but noted he accidentally removed a protective film on the screen.

YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee also removed the film and experienced a broken display. A Samsung spokesperson had warned on Wednesday not to remove the protective layer.

However, CNBC didn’t remove that layer, and our screen is now also failing to work properly.</p>


It seems to have a <em>really</em> high failure rate among reviewers. A $2,000 phone that doesn't last a week? This is going to be a Note 7 fiasco if this is repeated among buyers.
galaxyfold  samsung  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on: 10 minutes with this futuristic beauty • SamMobile
"Martin R:
<p>the magic starts when you unfold the Fold, and the first thing I noticed is how the thing suddenly snaps open. That’s the hinge in the middle of the screen doing its job; the hinge on the unit I played with had some wiggle to it, but Samsung assured me this would not be the case on the final product. And once unfolded, the device fit very well in my (rather large) hands and I never felt like I’d drop it. One thing I don’t like is how the Fold has a square form factor like the iPad, as you’ll see those hideous black bars when you watch videos. The bezels, however, are minimal, except for the part around the cameras, although I think that will be a non-issue after a few days of regular use.

And now, about that elephant in the room: the folding screen and the crease in the middle that has been talked about in recent weeks. Well, the crease was certainly there on the demo unit, but it’s barely noticeable when you look at the Fold from the front. However, you won’t be able to unsee the crease once you look at the device from an angle when the screen is off. Samsung said this crease would be less noticeable on the final product, and I certainly hope that’s the case.

Something that struck me is how, glassy the screen felt. The Galaxy Fold uses a plastic display, but there’s some kind of coating on top that makes it feel like glass, and I loved that. Also impressive is how the Fold’s display opens to a full 180 degrees. I was worried that would be hard because of the book-like implementation of Samsung’s foldable device, just like an actual book can start to tear in the middle if you try to make the two sides of the book lay completely flat. But there’s no such problem on the Fold, and it feels almost magical to use.</p>


Let's come back in nine months or so and find out how people are using it.
foldable  samsung 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Want a foldable phone? Hold out for real glass • WIRED
Brian Barrett:
<p>Corning is combining its experience with Willow glass, which can roll up like a sheet of paper, and Gorilla Glass, which gets its strength from an ion-exchange process. In fact, it’s that process that makes Willow Glass unsuitable for phones. It involves dipping glass into a molten salt solution, where potassium ions enter and push out smaller sodium ions, creating a “compressive stress layer.” To borrow an example from Corning, think of what would happen if you replaced the billiard balls in a rack with tennis balls, which are slightly larger. The additional compression would make it much harder to roll the rack. In a sense, it’s stronger. But it also comes at a cost.

“In a display application, you’re putting transistors on the glass. Transistors hate salt: Sodium, potassium, anything from the salt family will eat away a transistor,” Bayne says. “For this family of glasses to work, you have to have these components in the glass that are incompatible with transistors.”

Corning’s ultrathin, bendable glass attempts to square that circle but hasn’t quite yet. “We have glasses we’ve sampled to customers, and they’re functional, but they’re not quite meeting all the requirements,” Bayne says. “People either want better performance against a drop event or a tighter bend radius. We can give them one or the other; the key is to give them both.”

Bayne expects foldable glass to be ready by the time foldable smartphones go mainstream, say a couple of years. Mauro thinks Corning and competitors like Japan’s AGC may be even closer than that. But the important thing for you to know is that it’s not here now.</p>
foldable  glass 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Five reasons foldable phones are a bad idea • ExtremeTech
Ryan Whitwam:
<p>Smartphones used to come in all shapes and sizes — there were phones with keyboards, phones with rotating cameras, and phones with 3D screens. Smartphone design has standardized around the flat, glass slab in recent years, but things are starting to get weird again. Multiple smartphone makers seem to think 2019 is the time to make science-fictional folding phones a reality.

Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X look cool in demos, but foldable phones are probably a long, long way from being any good. Here are five reasons the current crop of devices is going to be bad.</p>


Briefly: plastic is plastic ("You encounter a lot of things throughout the day that are harder than plastic, but few that are harder than Gorilla Glass. While your flat smartphone can ride around in your pocket or bag with keys, pens, and coins, a foldable phone might come out looking likes a scuffed mess. Oh, your phone folds inward like the Galaxy Fold? Good luck never getting dust trapped in there when you close it."); they will break; the designs are still clunky; they're too pricey; app support will never arrive.

Of the five, the last one - app support - is what's probably going to make these "meh" on Android. As Whitwam says, "Android apps didn’t work well on tablets, and there’s no reason to think it’ll be any better with foldables."

If Apple does a foldable, on the other hand, you know developers will be falling over themselves to support it in surprising ways. The potential for games where the fold is the horizon is huge, for example.
foldable  samsung  huawei  apps  android 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
A few Mate X musings after finally getting to touch it • Android Authority
Kris Carlon:
<p>Seeing the Mate X up close was enough to satisfy any concerns I might have had about its overall build quality (it’s surprisingly good), but it also confirmed my other concern about the screen. A bumpy kind of dimpling is noticeable where the flexible part happens, and I can only imagine that will only become more pronounced over time. Like anything you fold and refold repeatedly, it’s going to degrade.

It’s the exact same issue Samsung will face with the Fold. Unlike Huawei, Samsung wouldn’t let anyone touch the Galaxy Fold at MWC 2019. It’s very clear that neither of these products are fully ready yet, but the impulse to be first is real. Perhaps Samsung knew that by keeping the Fold behind glass it wouldn’t get articles like this written about it, even if it probably is in a similar state to the Mate X.

Huawei assures me that by the time the Mate X goes on sale the display will be in much better shape. While of course Huawei would say that, it’s also hard to lambast “what might be” given Huawei’s generally good attention to detail. The same goes for Samsung. Maybe the various wrinkles are ironed out in the months to come, maybe they’re not, we’ll just have to wait and see.</p>
huawei  foldable 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Huawei Mate X hands-on: our foldable future • The Verge
Vlad Savov:
<p>There are still huge questions about what the software UX will be like, how durable and scratch-resistant that wraparound display will be over the long term, and how long the battery will last if you use this 5G tablet to its fullest. I can’t answer those today, but I can tell you what I know about the Huawei Mate X so far.

The Mate X’s OLED display is plastic, not glass as with most smartphones today. That’s going to be an unavoidable feature of all foldable devices going forward, because glass doesn’t like to fold. Nothing about the plastic surface gave me trouble or cause for concern, however. It has comparable friction and identical responsiveness to a regular glass-covered phone, and the only issue is the potential for more scratches owing to the plastic’s softness.

Viewing angles, contrast, color saturation, vibrancy, and uniformity all look as good as you’ll find in most smartphones today. I find the plastic display to be a little less reflective than its glass counterparts, which I like and prefer.

As to the all-important question of whether I can see or feel the spine in the middle of the screen where the fold happens, the answer is “no.” My time with the Mate X hasn’t yet been long enough to make that a categorical statement, but this is definitely the flattest foldable I’ve yet come across…

…The shape of the Mate X when it’s semi-open is great for perching it up on a surface — you can basically use the thinner rear part of the display as a kickstand.

…The hinge feels almost gritty in its operation. There’s no tactile smoothness to speak of, you just have to kinda shove it open. I suppose Huawei prioritized durability with this design, as the hinge has plenty of resistance and feels like it will withstand a lot of opening and closing — it just won’t feel particularly elegant or smooth while doing it.</p>


Having an "outie" (the fold screen on the outside) is going to lead to tons of scratches in no time.
huawei  foldable 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Mate X: what Huawei's $2,600 foldable 5G phone with three screens feels like • CNET
Jessica Dolcourt:
<p>Huawei's vision for the Mate X is of a phone you mostly use in its "closed" position, but open up when you want to be entertained or more productive. There's a screen on the back that could be useful for taking selfies: The phone's four rear cameras have been codesigned with Leica.

The "main" screen configuration is a 6.6in display that Huawei thinks you'll use most. Unfold it outward to get an 8in edge-to-edge OLED display with no notch (there is a camera, though). When it's folded up, the back is a slightly smaller 6.4in screen and a sidebar with the rear camera array. In the open position, the sidebar becomes a grippable handle, which Huawei whimsically calls the "Falcon Wing" design because of its swooping shape. The idea is to hold the Mate X one-handed, and use your other hand to tap and swipe. Fold the phone closed again and one side aligns with the handle to give it all a flat look. And yes, there's still a bendable hinge.

My colleague Roger Cheng had hands-on time with the phone, noting that even though the phone is large it feels light, but it will definitely be a two-handed experience. Here are his thoughts:

"The Mate X closes flush as promised, with little gap between the two sides of the phone. Folding the phone is a little scary, and the movement is a little stiff, but Huawei consumer CEO Richard Yu says it's tested for 100,000 folds. When it's closed, the phone knows which side of the device you're facing. It'll automatically flip sides when you face it.

"For such a large device, it feels pretty light. The spine housing the camera works as a pretty good ergonomic handle when unfolded. But good luck folding it with one hand - I almost dropped it. When folded, it did feel a little thick. There's a bulkiness to it that's unavoidable."</p>


6.6in which then becomes 8in? That doesn't sound like a lot extra for $2,600.

Foldables are interesting. Let's get into peoples' hands and see what the real use cases are.
foldable  huawei 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s foldable phone is the Galaxy Fold, price $1,980 • The Verge
Tom Warren:
<p>Samsung has built a sturdy backbone to the device, with a hinge system that has multiple interlocking gears. All of these gears are hidden at the rear of the device, and allow the Galaxy Fold to transform from tablet to phone modes. At the rear of the device there’s also a triple-camera system that will be used for both tablet and phone modes. There’s a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, alongside 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras at the rear, and a 10-megapixel cover camera for selfies. Samsung is also creating four different colors for the Galaxy Fold, but it’s the main tablet display that’s key here.

Samsung is allowing the Galaxy Fold to run three apps at once on this Android device, and it’s using an app continuity system to adjust these apps when you move between tablet and phone modes. Apps like WhatsApp, Microsoft Office, and YouTube have all been optimized for the new display and modes, and Samsung has been working with Google to ensure Android 9 Pie fully supports this display.

Samsung demonstrated a variety of apps running in this mode, and the switching from phone to tablet and vice versa. It looks rather smooth in the software right now, but it’s fair to say that the Galaxy Fold looks far better when it’s folded out than being used as a traditional phone. The phone display is clearly designed to be used with one hand, but it’s flanked by large bezels that aren’t found on the tablet mode. We’ll need to get a closer look at the Galaxy Fold to find out exactly how this impacts the device usability, though.</p>

Sooo.. an iPad you can fold up?
Samsung  foldable 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
LG puts foldable phone on hold, focuses on "optional" dual displays • Android Authority
Scott Adam Gordon:
<p>In an email today, an LG spokesperson said: “Since Mr. Hwang (former MC President) made that statement in October, management didn’t see the market as becoming very favourable for an expensive, first-gen foldable smartphone. So we’ve decided to focus our efforts in other areas, such as optional dual displays.”

Earlier in January, rumors emerged suggesting an LG device with an optional display was headed to MWC 2019. The extra screen is tipped to be part of an additional phone case.

LG isn’t the only manufacturer wary of the folding phone market. Last month, Honor President George Zhao said folding phones were “too thick and heavy,” and questioned if consumers really needed them.

With all of that in mind, Kwon said LG was “fully ready” to respond to folding smartphone demand if it’s there. It seems like LG has the technology, but whether it will pursue it may depend on what everybody thinks of the Galaxy F.</p>


Probably wise, given that (1) <a href="https://www.lg.com/global/investor-relations/reports">LG's mobile phone business</a> fell even deeper into the red in Q4 (-18% operating margin) (2) its mobile phone business shrank by 42% in Q4, and by 29% for the year. LG is becoming an afterthought in the phone space. When was its heyday?
lg  foldable 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
How much would you pay for a foldable smartphone? • NY Mag
Jake Swearingen:
<p>There are already at least three foldable phones on the horizon this month. Of those, the most significant is Samsung’s foldable phone, rumored to be called either the Galaxy X or the Galaxy F. At the Annual Developer Conference in San Francisco in November, the device was shown onstage, but dim lighting and a stage-managed presentation meant that we only got a vague notion of what the phone would look like. More will likely be revealed at Samsung Unpacked event on February 20, where Samsung will roll out its 2019 lineup of Galaxy phones, but early rumors put the foldable phone at around $2,000, making even Apple’s highest-end phones seem like a bargain.

There’s Royole’s FlexPai, which was shown off at CES. Royole, founded by Stanford engineering grads, is first to the market, already selling the FlexPai in China for of 8,999 yuan, or around $1,300. (Americans can buy a developer’s version for about the same price.) Those who’ve gotten hands-on time with it have been less than impressed — the FlexPai may fold down, but folded down it’s a very, very bulky piece of hardware.

Meanwhile, Lenovo is set to relaunch the Motorola Razr brand with a flip phone of sorts, but with a fully foldable screen inside. The phone hasn’t been shown yet, but per The Wall Street Journal, it would cost around $1,500 and be a Verizon exclusive.</p>


Anyhow, tell me again about high-priced iPhones. I feel these aren't going to quite be in the hot cakes department.
foldable  smartphone 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Xiaomi’s folding phone is the best we’ve seen so far • The Verge
Tom Warren:
<p>Xiaomi’s folding phone has been revealed in a teaser video from the company. Xiaomi co-founder and president Lin Bin has posted a <a href="https://www.weibo.com/u/1689618340?is_hot=1">nearly minute-long video to Weibo</a> today, detailing the double folding phone. Both sides of the device can be folded backwards to transform it from a tablet form factor into more of a compact phone. Unlike other foldable phones we’ve seen recently, this certainly looks a more practical use for the technology.

Xiaomi doesn’t provide many details about its foldable phone, but Bin reveals the device in the video is simply an engineering model. Bin does note Xiaomi has conquered “a series of technical problems such as flexible folding screen technology, four-wheel drive folding shaft technology, flexible cover technology, and MIUI adaptation.” Xiaomi appears to have adapted its MIUI software for the foldable phone, and a video is seen playing on the device before it converts from tablet to phone mode.

Xiaomi’s folding phone leaked earlier this month, and it’s set to compete against devices like Samsung’s folding phone prototype and Chinese company Royole’s folding device. Huawei is also reportedly planning to launch a foldable device, and Lenovo has previously teased that it was working on bendable phones.</p>


I get the feeling that foldable phones are going to be huge in China for commuters. I'd give Xiaomi and Huawei a good chance on this (and it could revive Samsung's fortunes, briefly). I don't see Lenovo making it happen - or at least not profitably.
xiaomi  foldable 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Why Apple will be late to foldable phones (and still win) • Tom's Guide
Jason Snell (who has written for years and years about Apple):
<p>If Apple did build a foldable iPhone, it would probably be best to think of it as an iPhone that could expand to become a small iPad. Given the power of Apple's A-series processors and the increasingly sophisticated and PC-like features of the iPad, that could be a compelling product.

There's another possibility, and it arises from a long-standing Apple design philosophy. This is what I've taken to calling "Jobs' Law," the idea that every new iteration of an Apple product should strive to be thinner and lighter than the previous generation.

A foldable phone would seem to go against Jobs' Law, because that folding mechanism will presumably mean thicker phones, at least at the start. But I wonder if having a folding mechanism would enable Apple to design much smaller iPhones. While Apple has embraced large phones like the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS Max due to market pressures, I'm not entirely convinced that the company's heart is in it.

Maybe the future of the foldable iPhone is more like a Palm phone that flips out to become a phablet, not a phablet that becomes a tablet.

Sure, a foldable iPhone could be a giant phablet that folds out into a small iPad. But it could also be a small, iPhone SE-size model that flips open to provide iPhone XS Max-style real estate on demand. Maybe the future of the foldable iPhone is more like a Palm phone that flips out to become a phablet, not a phablet that becomes a tablet.</p>


The thing about a foldable iPhone (or iPad?) is that you'd want the bigger screen occasionally - like the people I see on the train who watch downloaded or streaming video on a tablet-sized screen. Much of the time you wouldn't.

I really can't figure out whether it's a gimmick or something useful.
apple  foldable 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
The foldable smartphone era is finally here and it will change everything • USA Today
Bob O'Donnell:
<p>the introduction of Samsung’s Infinity Flex display-based devices and the Royole FlexPai make it clear that the long dreamed of idea for a pocket-sized smartphone that can unfold into a larger, tablet-like device is finally upon us.

The appeal of such a device is obvious, and I believe its impact – at least, eventually – will be enormous. Just as it’s hard to remember a world where mobile phones only made phone calls, so too will there come a time when it will be hard to imagine a world that didn’t have foldable, connected computing devices that fit into our pockets.

At the same time, while it’s easy to look back at the first iPhone and see its obvious shortcomings, so too will the limitations of first-generation foldable devices become apparent over time. That is the nature of technological developments. To be clear, however, I am convinced that 2019 will be remembered as the beginning of the foldable era.

One key reason is that foldable display technology enables the continuation of arguably the most important development in the evolution of smartphones: larger screens. From the early days of 3.5” displays to today’s common 6”+ sizes, the insatiable desire for screen real estate has driven the progressive design of smartphones.</p>


If the fold isn't particularly visible, then this could make a difference; notice how people love catching just a little bit more content on the move.

Going to be fun for app designers with a new set of screen sizes and configurations to design for.
foldable  screen  smartphones 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Google is adding native foldable device support to Android • Neowin
Rich Woods:
<p>Google today announced that it will be adding native support for "foldables" into Android. These are devices with foldable displays, the first of which will come from companies like LG and Samsung.

The way it works is that when devices are folded, they look like regular smartphones, but when you open them up, there's a larger screen. The idea is to seamlessly transfer the contents of the smaller screen onto the larger one.

The good news is that most Android apps are already optimized for different screen sizes, resolutions, and aspect ratios. After all, Android is a very diverse ecosystem that ranges from low-end phones with low screen resolutions to flagship phones that are QHD. There are aspect ratios from 4:3 to 19.5:9, and screen sizes that go from a few inches to the size of a desktop PC.

But native support is something that's meant to prevent fragmentation. If this doesn't happen, then OEMs will have to create their own implementations, which could result in different experiences across the board. We've seen this before, with fingerprint sensors and screen notches, both of which started appearing before there was native support in the OS.</p>
google  android  foldable 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung Infinity Flex display: folding phone concept revealed • Gearbrain
Alistair Charlton:
<p>After months of rumors, teasers and anticipation, Samsung has finally revealed its first folding smartphone — but there's a catch.

Shown off by CEO and president DJ Koh during the opening keynote of the annual Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the Infinity Flex Display is only a prototype for now, and won't be ready to buy until 2019.

The concept comes just days after Royole announced the FlexPai, which the company claims is the world's first smartphone to feature a folding display, and early adopters should receive in late-December.

Unlike the production-ready FlexPai, Samsung is not ready to reveal its finished product just yet. The device shown on stage was bulky — especially when viewed in the closed position — but Samsung reassured the audience that "there's a device inside here and it is stunning."

Regarding durability, Samsung says the display can be folded "hundreds of thousands of times" without being damaged. The company also said the display is the thinnest it has ever made. Mass production, Samsung says vaguely, will begin "in the coming months."</p>


Vague. Very vague. Meanwhile...
samsung  foldable 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung unveiling a foldable smartphone this year • CNBC
Arjun Kharpal:
<p>Samsung will unveil details of a foldable smartphone later this year, the CEO of its mobile division told CNBC, amid rumors that such a device was in the works.

DJ Koh said that "it's time to deliver" on a foldable device after consumer surveys carried out by Samsung showed that there is a market for that kind of handset.

Speaking to CNBC, Koh was tight-lipped on how the folding screen could work but ran through the design thinking of the upcoming smartphone, particularly how Samsung is trying to differentiate the experience from a tablet once it is unfolded.

"You can use most of the uses ... on foldable status. But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they (consumers) buy it?," Koh said at the IFA electronics show in Berlin last week.

"So every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end customer. So when the end customer uses it, (they think) 'wow, this is the reason Samsung made it'."

The device may sound similar to a traditional flip phone which relied on a hinge to connect the two parts of the handset. But Samsung is likely to focus on creating an actual screen that bends. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that an upcoming foldable smartphone would use a single screen.</p>


He's going to reveal <em>details</em> of the phone later this year? Not the phone? Wow, it's almost as if Samsung is trying to distract from the launch of another phone. The Galaxy Note?
samsung  foldable 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung plans to launch foldable-screen phone early next year • WSJ
Timothy Martin:
<p> Samsung Electronics Co. is planning to introduce a foldable-screen smartphone early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, as the world’s largest phone maker eyes a splashy device to help re-energize its slumping handset business.

The Samsung prototype, which bears the internal code name “Winner,” features a screen that measures about 7 inches diagonally, roughly the size of a smaller tablet, these people said.

The screen can be folded in half, like a wallet, these people said. When the phone is folded, its exterior shows a small display bar on one side and cameras on the other, they said.

A foldable-screen device has long been a hotly rumored industry pursuit, with several phone makers said to be developing models. Unlike a traditional flip phone, the device when opened would be almost all screen, giving consumers a large display akin to a tablet, with the portability of a phone that could fit in a consumer’s hand, pocket or purse.

Other manufacturers have launched smartphones that fold, but those devices used two screens connected at their phone frames.

The new Samsung design—using a foldable screen—could help rejuvenate a handset industry that has struggled to find new dazzling features to impress consumers.</p>


(Narrator's voice: it didn't rejuvenate the handset industry, because nobody cared that your phone could fold.)
samsung  foldable 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung's cancelled Project Valley foldable phone revealed in pictures • SamMobile
"Abhijeet":
<p>As you can see in the images, Samsung’s early foldable phone was simply a regular smartphone with a second display panel attached to it with a folding hinge. It’s a rather unattractive design that would have seemed out of place at a time when the Korean giant launched the beautiful Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. It would certainly have garnered a lot of attention as no other manufacturer would have had something similar to offer at the time, but Samsung clearly wasn’t interested in releasing a foldable phone just to be the first on the market.

<img src="https://www.sammobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/samsung-project-valley-1.jpg" width="100%" />

That’s not to say this early Project Valley prototype isn’t important, as it’s proof that Samsung has been serious about foldable devices for a long time. The company went as far as filing a patent for the user interface for the device, and it has recently been pretty upfront about its plans to release a foldable smartphone at some point in the near future.</p>


I'd have called this a "folding" phone rather than a "foldable" phone. Somehow "foldable" to me suggests a single screen that somehow can be made smaller. But whatever - this looked horrible.
samsung  foldable 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
The first foldable AMOLED smartphone displays are expected to hit the market this year • IHS Markit
Jerry Kang:
<p>While the flexible AMOLED display market included equal volumes of flat and curved displays in 2017, most flexible AMOLED panel suppliers are planning to put foldable AMOLED into mass production in a few years.

Flexible AMOLED displays have made rapid inroads into the flagship smartphone display market, with panel makers willing to supply differentiated products with innovative form factors, which increases the profit margin from sales of premium products. The first smartphones with foldable AMOLED displays are expected to be introduced before the end of the year.

Samsung Display has demonstrated single- and dual-foldable AMOLED displays since 2013. The company is expected to mass produce its first foldable AMOLED displays for Samsung Electronics in 2018.

BOE has developed a prototype of a 7.56-inch 2048x1536 foldable AMOLED display with a 5-millimeter bending radius, which reliably bends 100,000 times without breaking. BOE is looking to supply this foldable AMOLED display to Huawei this year.

AUO has developed a 5-inch 1280x720 AMOLED display, with a 4-millimeter bi-directional bending radius. The company says it will bend more than 1.5 million times without breaking. It includes an integrated touch sensor and 4H cover film.

<img src="http://technology.ihs.com/api/binary/603655" width="100%" />
</p>

OK, but what about these "rollable" screens allegedly heading our way in 2021? Are these going to be like roll-up papers?
Foldable  rollable  screens 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Hands-on video shows Lenovo Folio bendable tablet working fully • Pocket-lint
Rik Henderson:
<p>Chinese manufacturer Lenovo has been working on several tech concepts that will reimagine current gadgets. It recently revealed a bendable laptop during an event in New York that can be rolled to transport. And it has discussed bendy tablet formats in the past.

Now it has shown one of the latter and, instead of folding in on itself as you'd expect, the Lenovo Folio concept device folds over with the screen on the outside.

A video of the concept was posted online by Mobile China, on Chinese video site Youku. It shows someone going hands-on with the working prototype, which does indeed fold in the middle to give two separate screens - one either side of the bent device.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/juNlsqu_hd4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The prospective uses of such a device are yet to be fully explored, although we can see in the video that, as well as provide screens for user and separate viewer, it can also bend back into a larger tablet form and continue to be used in that more standard way.</p>


The initial temptation is to say "the uses are the same as a tablet", but one can see the potential to have something phone-sized in your pocket which you can then open out and use as a full(er)-sized tablet. Could be big. Could vanish.
lenovo  foldable  tablet 
july 2017 by charlesarthur

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