Foldable Phone: Is It Worth It?

Foldable Phone

With the focus of the smartphone industry slowly converging on unusual form factors such as rollable and foldable phones, it’s time to ask ourselves: Are these form factors actually useful, or just gimmicks, or a stepping stone to something much bigger and better?

In a world where each new generation of smartphones has very little to offer other than incremental updates, the fact that every major smartphone company is now working on folding technology and other different form factors is a refreshing change of pace. We have Apple and Google reportedly working on foldable devices, whereas Samsung has already replaced their Note series with two different Fold Series.

We also have the new Oppo Find N which brings with it most of the features of the Samsung Fold 3 while also solving many of its problems. We have Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola, each coming up with their own iteration of what a foldable device should be like, with the Mate X, Mix Fold, and Razr series respectively. This is a pretty good assurance that all these companies have good confidence in the future of foldables.

Now, what about the consumer’s view of a foldable phone? 

The main advantages of having a foldable phone aren’t just limited to having a bigger screen. Users don’t usually mind a foldable phone being considerably thicker than a typical smartphone, because the convenience of having the large screen far outweighs the few millimeters of thickness. The manufacturer, in the meantime, can put in better specs, and take full advantage of the bigger phone.

On the other hand, the main disadvantage of these new form factors is their durability. Foldable and Rollable smartphones now have to use plastic screens for them to be able to bend easily, whereas the screen technology of traditional smartphones have come very far, with all the new flagship phones coming with Gorilla Glass Victus, the toughest smartphone screen glass yet. While the plastic screen technology is improving with every new release, there’s a lot to catch up to, and a lot of expectations to live up to. That, paired with the fact that they’re very expensive to buy and expensive to fix, makes it a deal-breaker for most people.

Another disadvantage is the fact that these new phones have a thicker body, higher weight and yet lower specs than a typical smartphone.

Both these problems are ones that can be solved in the coming years. 

So, with the potential disadvantages currently outweighing the advantages, why should we look forward to the next folding smartphone?

The best analogy here would be to look at it this way: when the first smartphone was announced, we could just listen to music, call people, and use a few websites. But we had no idea that at some point in time, someone could literally be at our doorstep in 10 minutes, with food, groceries or for a ride, all at the swipe of a finger.

While currently folding phones are too expensive and unreliable for most people, it holds the possibility of being a stepping stone to something we all want: a single device for all intents and purposes, that fits into every circumstance, and just blends in naturally.

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  • Asgar, co-founder and editor at The Interlude, is currently a med school student and constantly testing the limits of the human spirit.

Asgar Azwad

Asgar, co-founder and editor at The Interlude, is currently a med school student and constantly testing the limits of the human spirit.

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