The clamshell phones are back, but with a flexible screen. Huawei and Samsung are among the leaders, Apple is lagging behind

The year 2019 began with a trend on smartphones with a bending display. The technology is still at an early stage of development and is expensive, but companies have already joined the race.

For reference: I had the first iPhone. I used it a month and returned to Blackberry. I think with the folding phones will be something similar. They will show potential for the future, but will not be able to meet today’s standards of convenience.

Every phone is foldable if you are strong enough

The author of the channel JerryRigEverything, where smartphones are tested for strength: “Everyone is trying to circumvent the bend test of the phone using a flexible screen. But they forget that I always bend the phones in both directions ”
chose several clamshells, which were shown at the MWC 2019, and also remembered how companies like Apple are doing.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Fold model a few days before the MWC. The smartphone was already glimpsed in 2018, but on February 20, its official name, specifications and price were announced (almost $ 2,000). The company brought the device to a conference in Barcelona, ​​but did not give it to journalists. Galaxy Fold walled from visitors with a glass cube.

Samsung representatives do not hide that their first bending smartphone is designed for fans of advanced technologies who want to try out the form factor at the very beginning of its development. Galaxy Fold sales will begin on April 26, but it will not be possible to buy it in every store – launch will be limited.

Huawei mate x

Many Western journalists and techno-bloggers have recognized the Huawei smartphone with a flexible display as the best MWC 2019 device. “I held the future in my own hands,” Vlad Verov, The Verge editor shared his impressions. Unlike Samsung, the Chinese company gave reporters familiar with the phone. And they admitted that while Huawei stands out in the leaders of the “clamshell” race, because it is most consistent with the expectations with the phrase “phone with a flexible screen.”

The biggest question for a smartphone is its price. At the start of Mate X will cost 2.3 thousand euros – 300 euros more expensive than the Galaxy Fold, and much more expensive than any “standard” flagship.

Royole FlexPai

TechRadar Photos

FlexPai officially showed before everyone else – back in January at CES. But already then the journalists still had questions for the device: for example, the system very slowly adapted to the “unfolding” of the screen. The emergence of competitors like models from Samsung and Huawei only highlighted the problems of the Chinese company Royole. According to an employee of TechRadar, the smartphone worked much faster at MWC, but still with noticeable brakes.

But Royole not only introduced flexible displays into their phones. At the booth during the conference it was possible to find bags, t-shirts and even hats.

Energizer Power Max P8100S

Energizer has become famous on the MWC 2019 for its massive smartphone with a 18,000 mAh battery. But besides him, the Power Max P8100S model was presented at the conference, which some media outlets called “the least convincing device with a flexible screen”, and others – “not quite weed”.

The smartphone has two displays: standard – “outside”, large flexible – “inside”. Energizer traditionally boasts a large battery (10,000 mAh) and a price of about $ 960, which is lower than the competition.

TCL Prototypes

In fact, TCL has not yet entered the clamshell race. But the company is actively exploring the new trend, which it showed on its stand during the Mobile World Congress 2019.

Photo Mashable

Journalists were shown several form factors that are being studied by TCL specialists. There are already standard phones that turn into a tablet, and more experimental solutions. All this while concepts – the company has not yet stopped on some version.

Prototype from Oppo

During the MWC, a prototype of its clamshell with a flexible screen was shown by the Chinese company Oppo. True, this did not happen at a company event in Barcelona, ​​but on the Weibo social network: Oppo Vice President Brian Shen published several photos of the device. According to him, the smartphone was originally wanted to bring to the conference, but then abandoned the idea.

The design of the device is similar to the Huawei Mate X, but there are no more detailed specifications yet. The price and name of the smartphone is also unknown.

LG V50

Photo Android Central

LG has done without a flexible display, but you can attach a second screen to the new V50. The Engadget publication described the model as “half a step to a bendable phone”: there are no Huawei or Samsung technologies in it, but the device can be folded. In this case, for example, you cannot stretch one application onto two screens at once.

Photo Engadget

Bonus: Apple, Xiaomi and the rest

The Chinese company Xiaomi has already shown the concept of its flexible-screen phone in January 2019, but it wasn’t brought to the MWC. There was no clamshell and the brand Honor, but the head of the company said that he expects to present the device in a new form factor in 2020. Motorola confirmed the development of the bendable smartphone – according to rumors, it will be part of the Razr line.

Representatives of the industry finally had a question: what will Apple do? The journalists found the company’s patent for 2016 and an approximate folding scheme, but it is not known whether their vision of the product has changed since that time.



According to AppleInsider, the company is in a waiting position and is still watching the trend from the side. And it will begin to act when the technology ceases to be “raw.” But Apple’s lag in this area worried about co-founder Steve Wozniak. “Apple is not a leader in the niche of bend phones, and that worries me. I really want a flexible screen phone. This is one of those technologies that attract my attention,  he said .

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