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7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution

Since their initial introduction in 2019, foldable phones have become more and more popular in the market and have improved more in recent years. Notable advances can be made in terms of more durable folding screens, smaller and smaller marks on the screen, and more refined software.

But there are still a series of important problems that future foldable devices must solve if they want to reach more users and create a real revolution that changes the way people use their phones. People.

Wrinkles on the screen

Photo: Internet.

This is the first serious problem to appear on folding screen devices and until now, it has not been completely solved. You can not only feel it when you slide your hand across the screen, but also see it quite clearly in Samsung devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4.

Samsung’s competitors in the foldable phone market like Oppo and Huawei are all trying to solve this problem with varying degrees of success. For example, the mark on the Huawei Mate X2 is reduced to a “virtually unrecognizable” level. Meanwhile, Oppo Find N only leaves 2 small marks instead of a concave line on the screen. However, these successes come at the expense of less water resistance – a price that is not small.

Obviously this problem needs to be fixed before the foldable phone wants to go any further.

Lack of dust resistance

7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution | Mobile

Photo: Internet.

While Samsung is the first company to equip its foldable phones with water resistance with IPX8 certification. Even if this sets them apart from other competitors, the X in IPX8 also means that Samsung’s foldable device is not yet dustproof.

If you look at the current hinges and folding mechanisms of foldable devices, you will see how great this challenge is. With the wide range of mechanical components that make up the folding hinges of these devices, as well as the gap between the device chassis and the screen, it’s hard to prevent dust particles and tiny debris from getting inside. in the body and down the screen. If you want to improve the durability of these devices, dust resistance needs to be thoroughly addressed.

The “inferior” appearance of the folding screen

7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution | Mobile

Photo: Internet.

Folding screens are becoming more and more durable over the years, as ultra-thin tempered glass (UTG) is appearing on many devices. Samsung even equipped the S Pen for the Galaxy Z series, as a confirmation of the durability of the screens of these devices. However, it is undeniable that many folding screens still look “inferior” and cheap when compared to conventional devices.

For ordinary smartphones, the glossy, sturdy protective glass is part of the reason why the screen becomes more luxurious. Meanwhile, the flexible glass layer improves durability, but still leaves glare and dents on folding screens, which makes them less luxurious and cheaper.

Currently some devices like Vivo X Fold Plus have been equipped with an anti-glare coating to mitigate this problem but have not been able to solve it completely. Glass maker Gorilla Glass is also developing an ultra-thin tempered glass for folding screens called Willow Glass, but there is no specific release date yet. Therefore, most likely, it will take a long time for this challenge to be overcome.

Support application

7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution | Mobile

Photo: Internet.

From the beginning, Samsung and Google have worked hard to create a consistent software experience in foldable devices, and they do it very well. However, software compatibility is still a big problem for today’s foldable phones.

There are still many applications that do not really support the large folding screen like that of the Galaxy Z Fold series. The most obvious example is Instagram when the application window does not take up the entire folding screen but still displays just like on a regular smartphone, leaving a lot of space on the screen. Not only Instagram, the Amazon app is also not well optimized for large folding screens. In addition, the Wells Fargo bank application does not support well on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 when users of the folding screen will not be able to use the fingerprint scanner to log in.

Recently, Google has launched Android 12L, adding more features to better support the folding screen. Hopefully future Android versions will inherit this and open a new door to improve the app’s support on folding screen devices.

Configuration is lower than smartphones of the same time

7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution | Mobile

Photo: Internet.

Although considered as the top high-end smartphones in the market, compared to the flagships of the same time, most foldable devices have to accept a step back in some configuration parameters.

For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has only a 4,400 mAh battery – less than its predecessor and is not equipped with a 108MP camera sensor or 10x zoom camera like the S22 Ultra. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi Mix Fold also does not have wireless charging, lacks water resistance or a hinge that opens and closes freely. Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a larger battery but the camera is limited to a dual 12MP camera cluster.

Technical challenges are responsible for these limitations. Galaxy Z Fold or other folding screen devices have a rather narrow width when folded, some other devices are also made as thin as possible when opened. Along with that, the folding hinge mechanism is quite complicated, so it narrows the space inside folding screen devices, leaving them no room for batteries, larger sensors and many other components.

This is almost a physical limitation and only breakthroughs in batteries and camera lenses can solve this problem. Although folding screen smartphones are still the leading devices on the market, compared to their expensive prices, having to suffer some configuration disadvantages still disappoints many buyers.

Price

7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution | Mobile

Photo: Internet.

Anyway, perhaps the price is the biggest obstacle that makes users hesitate to find these folding screen devices. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799, at the same time, the slightly better-configured Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,200.

The rival Huawei Mate XS 2 costs even more, up to $ 1,980, while the device is not supported by Google software. Clamshell folding screen devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 have a softer price, more accessible to users, but it does not have the advantage of a large screen like the above expensive devices. With many complex technologies converging in a folding screen device, it is hard to expect it to be cheap to reach the general user.

However, if it is possible to trade for lower configuration parameters – for example, Exynos 1280 or Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of memory, … – it is likely that mid-range folding screen devices will come out. eye like the way Samsung did with the Galaxy A series. Not only cutting down on configuration, folding screens can also be used from cheaper suppliers like BOE.

Few supplier options

7 challenges folding screen smartphones must solve to be worthy of the technological revolution | Mobile

Photo: Internet.

Another problem that screen phones have is the limited number of vendors. Samsung, Huawei and Motorola are the only major brands offering foldable phones to the world market.

What about devices from Xiaomi, Honor, Oppo or Vivo? They only offer their products limited to the Chinese market. Of course, you can still buy it portable, but without a genuine warranty, buyers run the risk of owning a device with as many durability challenges as a folding smartphone.

Hopefully these problems will be resolved in 2023, when more companies are involved in the development of foldable smartphones as well as solving supply chain problems. Thus, the ability of folding screen smartphones to reach more users may be possible in the future.

Refer to Android Authority

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