Tag Archives: foldable devices

Samsung Patents New Foldable Phone Design, Tablet, Also All in One Desktop

By Radu Iorga

Samsung patented a motherload of devices this week, starting with a foldable phone and tablet, plus an all in one desktop PC. The company was granted a series of new design patents, one of them covering a large foldable smartphone, while the second was pretty covert. It could be a large foldable phone or a small foldable tablet.

The US Patent Office granted Samsung a design patent for a new All in One desktop design, as the graphics in this article show. These are simple visuals, not very clear indicators of the final products. However, the sketches of the phone and tablet are pretty self explanatory. First we saw an out-folding smartphone, that has two separate screens attached via hinge.

It’s able to fold outwards, meaning the user can unfold the device and place it on a flat surface, offering two fields of view. This way two users can operate the device at the same time. The second patent covers a foldable tablet that folds inwards. It can be folded into a smartphone-sized machine and give the user a large display and a portable machine at the same time.

 

There was also a very large device in the sketches, possibly a very big tablet. An All in One desktop also appears, as a screen attached to a small rounded box, like the older iMacs. That whole tubular thing looks interesting, like a portable speaker of sorts. This feels like something Samsung show at IFA 2019, rather than MWC or CES. Foldables will surely come on February 20 though.

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New Samsung Galaxy Fold/ Galaxy F Renders Pop Up, With Smaller Bezels

By James A.

Another day, another leak related to the Samsung foldable phone. This time Letsgodigital.org has created a set of renders for the device, showing it in all of its splendor. It’s also slimmer and more compact than the previous leaks.

Expected on February 20, together with the Galaxy S10, the device now folds flat and it’s no longer segmented like the Surface Book hinge. The product is quite slim to be honest, apparently on account of a new polarizer filter, which is 45% thinner. Samsung discussed that during a recent developer conference. Bezels are narrower all around the machine.

The idea of a 7.3 inch device still remains available, with a 1536 x 2152 pixel resolution in the mix, able to fold in two and deliver a 4.58 inch diagonal for a smartphone. The handset is supposed to have two batteries and it’ll cost a bunch. We’re not very sure about the number of cameras on board. We hear about a triple back camera, but we could also see it taking the role of a selfie camera, since there’s no room for a selfie shooter upfront.

 

The price is said to be around $1800 and there will be a core 8 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage model, plus a 512 GB version. These are mere renders, so you shouldn’t read too much into them. I expect the real thing to be wider and maybe even slimmer… plus with a clearer degree of separation between screens.

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Microsoft Now Working on Windows 10 Foldable Devices

By Radu Iorga

With CES 2019 out of the way, we start dreaming of MWC 2019, where foldables should appear. CES was a bit underwhelming, since aside from Royole’s Flexpai there was no action in the field. Samsung could unveil its own device on February 20th and Microsoft is back.

Microsoft has included hints in Windows 10 recent builds, hinting that the firm is working on a version of its OS for foldable machines. Of course, it’s by no means the first time we’ve heard MS associated with such devices. Their Andromeda/Surface Phone project was actually one of the first foldables out there, albeit in patent form.

We can’t tell for sure if MS is adapting the Windows experience to foldables or making it for its own hardware. Intel’s Tiger Rapids reference design could bring us to dual screen Windows computers. Well, convertibles are sort of foldables, so I guess it expands from there. Optimization is important on a foldable, since it can make or break an experience.

People want apps, task bars, proper resizing, items adjusted to either the full screen or split screen experience. Folding and unfolding may trigger new UI elements. We could see more details at BUILD 2019 in the Spring and perhaps a device in the fall. Most of the work in the field of foldables has to do with Microsoft’s Composable Shell (C-Shell) and Windows Core OS.

By the way, since foldables blur the line between phone and tablet, it may also affect your Windows experience.

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Lenovo Patents Foldable Display Device With Physical Keyboard

By Radu Iorga

Lenovo is no stranger to foldable and flexible devices. Actually they played around with one as early as 2016, back when the Microsoft Surface Phone was just a dream in a foldable form and ZTE Axon M also didn’t exist. Now Oppo, Huawei and basically everyone is making such machines. Turns out Lenovo is also back on it, patenting a foldable display device with a physical keyboard.

It’s rather odd to hear about such a contraption, a device that’s able to both fold and allow for physical key input, but it’s happening. The novelty here is that Lenovo is trying to change the paradigm and replace the hinge with something else. That “something else” is a flexible piece of material in this case, that connects the keyboard and screen.

The patent is closer to a convertible laptop rather than your average foldable phone, to be frank. The two halves are connected via a second foldable screen panel. That leaves less room for breakage and damage that would happen to a regular hinged device. The fold feels similar to what the Microsoft Surface Book is doing and it’ll create a gap between the two halves of the device, so it won’t sit perfectly flat.

The foldable portion between the parts also shows stuff like notifications, battery data and more, like a second screen would. I have a serious gut feeling this is going to end up as a Lenovo Yoga Book 3 of some sort, but with a smaller format.

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BOE Showcases New Foldable Panel, That Changes From Tablet to Phone in Seconds

By Radu Iorga

BOE got a bit of a PR boost late last year when they delivered solid screen panels for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, while LG Display delivered some with problems. Now we learn that BOE’s investments are paying off and they’ve come up with a new type of foldable screen panel, that changes from tablet to phone in mere seconds.

The device can be folded down the middle and you can switch between formats with ease. The system UI will adapt. It all started with the Microsoft Andromeda/Surface Phone foldable patents, followed by the real life ZTE Axon and then Samsung and LG’s patents for foldables. Samsung’s showcasing at SDC 2018 left a lot to be desired and BOE’s product already looks better.

We’ve also seen recently something truly badass from Xiaomi, a seamlessly foldable triple display machine, that would make waves if launched today. It may have been a fake, since it was simply too well made. BOE has invested a lot in AMOLED production lines, so we expect to hear more about them in the future. Foldables will be the key showcasing at CES 2019 next week and at MWC 2019 next month.

While the average tech fan may be impressed by BOE’s achievement, I’ve seen Sharp playing with such panels for 3-4 years now, so I want something more already.

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