Tag Archives: foldable phones

Microsoft Surface Phone Andromeda Pops Up Again, Still Foldable (Concept/ Video)

By James A.

I don’t know if many of you know this, but Microsoft was ahead of its time with the Surface Phone/Andromeda. When the first patents came out it was supposed to be more than a phone and further patents talked about a foldable phone. That was before ZTE Axon M, the Samsung, LG, Huawei and Oppo patents. But the device is still not out, which doesn’t stop designers from envisioning it.

Concept Creator rendered the Surface Phone anew, with some novelty associated to the latest Andromeda patents. The project was in limbo last summer and we haven’t heard about it since. The new renders depict a rather bulky and thick device, with a reinforced hinge. The unified screen portion is seamless and we also get two external displays.

There’s a bit of Lumia and Surface Pro DNA here and I’m guessing some magnesium alloy too. The hinge area now seems coated with a sort of rubbery material, perhaps to decrease friction. That adds to the thickness, though. The inner screen bezels are rather larger, but the outer screens have very narrow bezels, so that checks out.

 

My only beef with the concept is that the two screens don’t overlap perfectly when closed. But then again, it may be intentional, leaving room for you to open the gizmo. I also can’t seem to spot any camera. If the device comes this year, it’ll arrive either at BUILD in April or May or November, like the last Lumias and Surface units.

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CES 2019: Samsung Showcases Foldable Phone to Las Vegas Customers

By Radu Iorga

Samsung’s foldable phone was first partially shown at SDC 2018 late last year and now it’s back in a more detailed form. Samsung Electronics showcased its foldable machine at the CES 2019 booth for customers to see.

We expected CES to be about foldables, but aside from Samsung and Royole, I haven’t seen too much action. Right now Samsung is finishing up optimization processes for the foldable hardware and software. When unfolded, the machine doesn’t show any crease to indicate it has been bent. It seems that completely folding the device results in breakage, so more testing and upgrades are needed.

I should highlight the word “customers” here, because Samsung only showed the foldable to them at CES, not regular visitors. It means they showed it to retailers, carriers and potential partners. The display on the foldable is thinner when fully opened. When folded, the device provides a stable grip, instead of feeling thick.

Samsung intends to launch its foldable phone in the first half of the year and initially it will produce around 1 million units, less than the 10 million units quota for the Galayx S. Those who played with the device claim that it’s ideal for multitasking and great for someone who wants both a smartphone and tablet. The target audience is men in their 40s, familiar with “folder phones” launched in late 1990s.

Royole FlexPai is also a pretty solid foldable shown at CES 2019.

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LG Foldable Phone Gets Fresh Patent, Would be Expandable as Well

By Radu Iorga

Not a week passes without seeing a new patent for a foldable phone and this time it’s LG coming up with novelty. They’ve recently patented a new device of the sort, which gets rendered and detailed thanks to LetsGoDigital.

The device has a patent filing already at WIPO and USPTO, describing its collapsible nature. I see there’s a mid section with some shortcuts, much like the Edge of a Galaxy Edge and a sort of “hook” mechanism at the back side. When closed, the device looks like any smartphone and in order to open it, you just need to unfold the rear face forward and stretch the machine.

This is not your average hinge-based foldable. It doesn’t open like a book like Samsung’s unit and doesn’t have a tri fold system like the Xiaomi freshly leaked tablet/phone. LG has a more elegant solution, also a very good looking one, that makes sense. It also doesn’t seem to add to the bulk of the machine. Sadly, LG doesn’t have a prototype ready for CES 2019 or MWC 2019.

 

Turns out that we’ll only see something new from them in Q3 2019. It kind of reminds me of the ZTE Axon to be honest. LG has been toying with a lot of formats lately, so they surely have something brewing. I have a feeling they’ll let Samsung take the fall first.

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Xiaomi Foldable Phone Leaked on Unbelievable Video

By James A.

Evan Blass broke the Internet over the past 24 hours, by posting a great hands on video of a presumed Xiaomi foldable phone. Well, what’s for sure is that it runs MIUI 10, but the rest is a big fat mystery.

What we see here seems like a tablet, that’s able to fold its side screens behind a main display. It becomes a sort of triple display machine with very seamless side screens, which fit perfectly into the whole tablet thing. The resulting smartphone has curved sides and a very narrow top and bottom. While Xiaomi has much less foldable leaks compared to Oppo, Huawei and Samsung, or even Microsoft, they seem to have come up with solid gold here.

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There’s a part of me that feels the video is very much edited and fake, but it’s so well done. The way the folding parts get behind the main screen is almost… ghostly, I’d say, too natural and too seamless. This is the first time that I’m actually convinced by a foldable, believe it or not. The device feels a bit wider than the other ones I’ve seen in patents and also a bit bigger than the Galaxy Fold or at least the SDC 2018 prototype.

I see that the navigation happens via gestures, like on iPhone X and Android Pie and everything works like a charm. Seeing how we’re so close to MWC 2019 and CES we may see a surprise appearance of the device there. Ideas for a name? I’m calling it Xiaomi Fold!

 

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Meizu Patents Foldable Phone With Support Pad

By Radu Iorga

Meizu is the latest company from China to join the series of brands preparing a foldable phone or two. They’re said to be preparing a foldable phone with a support pad, according to a just surfaced patent.

The info comes from the website of the State Intellectual Property Office and shows the Meizu patent titled “Foldable Terminal and Support Pad”. The document mentions that the foldable device will have a support pad between the bottom case and the display module. The support pad can be compressed in the horizontal direction, which makes it easier to stow away when the display module is folded.

This is merely a patent and doesn’t mean that there will be a final product. The foldable design is something that many companies are considering, including the likes of Oppo, Huawei, Samsung and Microsoft. Meizu has been innovating by trying to put screens at the back of phones, inaugurating the antenna cutouts of the iPhone 7 before it and scoring the latest MediaTek and Exynos CPUs somehow.

Samsung and ZTE are at the forefront of the foldables, with the ZTE Axon M and Samsung’s InfinityFlex prototype shown at SDC 2018. CES 2019 and MWC 2019 should bring us a variety of products of the sort. Meizu aren’t exactly a big presence at shows, so I wouldn’t bet on them.

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