Flip phones' resurrection with foldable display may beat the Galaxy Fold or Mate X designs


It seems that people are disappointed by the two current approaches to foldable phones - the horizontal in-folding type of the Galaxy Fold or the out-folding Mate X - at least on paper. There is another way, and it is exactly the one you prefer. 

We probed you last week on Sharp's vertical in-folding phone patents that have now been translated into the working prototype you see in the video above, and the majority of our respondents went with what is essentially a foldable clamshell of sorts, followed by the Galaxy Fold "innie" design.

Is Sharp's 'flip phone' foldable a better concept than the Galaxy Fold or Mate X?

Yes
62.82%
Nah, I prefer the Galaxy Fold approach
21.37%
Nah, I prefer the Mate X approach
15.81%
In fact, Sharp's approach is closer to what we imagined a foldable handset would be - an old-fashioned flip phone that has an uninterrupted screen where the hinge would be, making it compact to carry, and giving you a huge display when you need it. 

Sharp's 6.2" OLED screen is certainly ready and can be folded 300,000 times before it creases, says Sharp. The more foldable form factors, the merrier and the resulting phone may end up being more compact than the Samsung or Huawei creations.

The Galaxy Fold and Mate X are chasing a different concept, and are rather bulky when folded in addition to impractical when unfurled. Watching YouTube on the unfurled display, for instance, renders 20%+ of their large displays underutilized which defeats the purpose of lugging a bulky and expensive foldable phone with you.

Foldable clamshell displays win, fatality!

Foldable clamshell displays win, fatality!

Related phones

Galaxy Fold
  • Display 7.3" 1536 x 2152 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 4380 mAh(32h talk time)
Mate X
  • Display 8.0" 2200 x 2480 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin 980, Octa-core, 2600 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB + Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4500 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

16 Comments

1. Phonehex

Posts: 751; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Doesn't add anything expect a fold to your regular current phone. Whats the advantage of a foldable flip ?

3. Valinor

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Big screen, small phone.....wont stab you in the balls when you sit down :P

7. XRN5AI unregistered

Just imagine the Xperia 1 in this form factor

11. Leo_MC

Posts: 6616; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You need to have had and loved the flip phone of yesteryear to understand the elegance of this form factor. My first device was a T28 (the one with a button); I've gone through Sony-Ericsson, Samsung (the first flip without antenna), Motorola (the very first phone I touched was a D-some_number almost 25 years ago, I drooled about the StarTac, finally got a V1XX and than the famous V3). Oh, what a feeling to flip open the phone :)!!!

2. monkeyb

Posts: 382; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

With people already carrying 6.2 inch screens in their pockets without the need of folding them. I am trying to understand why someone would pay an “additional” $1000 just to carry it around slightly more easily. I mean apart from folding it in half, the end usage is still going to be the same.

6. XRN5AI unregistered

Well.. I'm sure you'll understand when someone combine this "flip" form factor with 6+ inch 21:9 display like the one on xperia 1 or xperia 10+

8. monkeyb

Posts: 382; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

Again. 1. How many people are desperate for a 21:9 screen. 2. It still does not justify spending an "additional" $1000 for a very very tiny convenience in this case.

10. Bankz

Posts: 2486; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Anything other than apple making a foldable phone would be useless imo. Imagine having their phone UI and tablet UI and features all in one pocketable phone. That phone will be nuts. The gold in it's current state still uses a phone UI (both folded and unfolded) which is quite frankly a waste of time imo. Apple tablets are the only tablets that matter at this point. They've got the Eco system, apps, features and developers. It will be game over for everyone but off course, knowing apple, that will never happen, sadly.

4. User123456789

Posts: 550; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Much better than book style

5. cmdacos

Posts: 3870; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Not enough of a benefit for the potential shortfalls.

9. matistight

Posts: 927; Member since: May 13, 2009

They should make one that pops up a selfie camera instead of leaving that stupid notch in the screen. Also that chin better have a speaker with how big it is!

12. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

There is nothing more satisfying than the sound of a flip phone being slapped shut when hanging up on someone while irate. Though I suspect these new phones won’t be able to tolerate that without smashing the screen.

13. LiveFaith

Posts: 363; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

I would be interested in @ a 6-7 inch screen that folks in half. Pocketable, yet huge viewing area for phone.

14. CEDEOTB

Posts: 360; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Why does it have a huge Pixel 3 notch

15. tokuzumi

Posts: 1821; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I'd rather have a phone flip on the X axis, and not the Y axis. Smaller form factor, and would be less prone to damage when dropped because the screen is better protected.

16. odachek

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

This could be just a foldable display with no touchscreen capability. To apply touchscreen capability, need another plastic layer on it with crease in the middle.

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