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What is a foldable phone?


The foldable phone trend has grown a lot over the past few years. Here’s everything you need to know about the new phone trend.

The world of smartphones has changed a lot over the years, and most readers probably remember their very first mobile device and how different it was from what’s on the market today.

And one of the devices that has evolved the most has to be the foldable phone, a concept that has been talked about for years but only recently effectively implemented.

To learn more about foldable smartphones and what they are, keep reading.

What is a foldable phone?

A foldable phone is a mobile device with a screen that folds in half to fit a larger display into a smaller body. They also tend to have a complex hinge system to allow the folding structure to function.

So far, we’ve commonly seen two styles of foldable phones: one that opens like a book to reveal a large internal display (like the Galaxy Z Fold), or one that mimics a retro clamshell design. The most popular example of the latter is the reboot of the Galaxy Z Flip or Motorola Razr series.

Some of the disadvantages of foldable phones are that they are inherently more fragile than standard phones, as the hinged aspect makes them more vulnerable to breakage or cracking. The first Galaxy Fold, for example, was delayed shortly before release due to multiple issues with the fragile body. However, things have improved a lot recently, with Samsung even introducing an IPX8 water resistance rating for the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3.

What was the first foldable phone?

Depending on what you consider a foldable device, this answer may vary.

Technically, the old flip phones were the first type of foldable phones. The first flip phone invented was StarTAC, developed by Motorola in 1996, with a screen and keypad that could be closed with a flip cover.

And whoever had a phone from the 90s to the 2000s remembers this style. These phones may have had hinge and screen variants, although none of them had hinges built into the screen.

The first folding screen phone came from an unexpected source. Small Chinese startup Royole launched the Royole Flexpai in 2018.

The Flexpai could be used as a phone, but could also be folded into a tablet with a 7.8-inch screen. Unfortunately, it was a really terrible device with poor user interface and hasty finishing. Shortly thereafter, Samsung and Huawei launched foldable phones that look much more like what we see today.

What is the best foldable phone?

If you’re interested in a complete list of the best foldable phones on the market, check out our best foldable phone list to see what our mobile experts think of all the options on the market.

While we’re not going to review the best phones here, we can mention the most famous line of foldable phones available from Samsung.

Samsung probably made the best impression with its foldable phone. Its first foldable device was the Galaxy Fold, which featured a 7.3-inch foldable display on the inside, as well as a 4.5-inch display on the front.

The company then released the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 which were well received. And more recently, the company launched the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 as a continuation of earlier foldable phones.

If you’re wondering what Samsung’s latest foldable devices look like, check out the links before checking out our first impressions of the devices.

And it’s important to note that Samsung isn’t the only company in the foldable market; Huawei also released the P50 Pocket, and Microsoft released a sequel in the form of the Surface Duo 2.


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