2019 Officially the Year of the Foldable Smartphone

2019 Officially the Year of the Foldable Smartphone
2019 Officially the Year of the Foldable Smartphone

Huawei has joined LG and Samsung in unveiling new foldable smartphones

While it may be more than a decade since Apple all but killed the flip phone with the release of the iPhone, it appears that foldable phones are back. Seeking to rev up demand in the smartphone market, which is currently in the midst of its worst-ever decline, the Chinese and Korean companies are clearly anticipating significant consumer interest in the newly designed handsets.

Be warned, the new foldable smartphones come with hefty price tags! At the Mobile World Congress event held in Barcelona in February, Samsung pipped its rivals by being the first to unveil a folding smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is its first device enabled for 5G networks and serves as a smartphone with a 4.6 inch display that unfolds to become a 7.3 inch display tablet. “We are giving you a device that doesn’t just define a new category, it defies category,” said Samsung’s Justin Denison at the event.

“We are pushing beyond the limits of today’s technology to inspire a new generation of smartphones and recharge growth for our industry,” said DJ Koh, head of mobile communications at Samsung Electronics. The Galaxy Fold, which can open three apps simultaneously and is designed for multitasking will go on sale in the US on 26 April starting at US$1,980.

But Huawei’s new Mate X ramps up the price even further starting at $2,600, which for context is about the same price as MacBook Pro. For that you also get 5G capability, along with a 6.6 inch display that measures 8.8 inches when folded out. Meanwhile, South Korean firm LG has also unveiled its foldable dual-screen phone, the V50, although no pricing details are available. Unlike both Samsung and Huawei’s devices, the V50 has a detachable secondary screen which does not connect to the first screen in a tablet format, but more like a peripheral screen.

This could mean the V50 will be optimised for gaming, with the bottom screen being used as a controller for mobile games – as a number of images shared online appear to suggest. Samsung has also announced the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, the latest versions of its hugely popular Galaxy series. The Galaxy S10 and S10+ will be on sale in Thailand in March, with prices starting at 31,900 THB and 35,900 THB, respectively