The design comeback of foldable smartphones

The arrival of foldable smartphones has stirred the tech community and broke it into two factions: the lovers and the haters. On one hand, there’s a group completely enamored by its possibilities: bigger screens, smaller space. On the other, the much more prominent number, continues to shake their head and says technology isn’t ready for it yet. Not only is the price steeper (take a look at Samsung Galaxy Fold), but current spec restrictions make the skeptics reasonable, such as potential cracks on the screen, and the other folding half not working as it should be.

But tech giants like Samsung won’t stop navigating the Folded Phone territory. The newly launched Galaxy Z Flip bears a nostalgic semblance to the iconic Motorola Razr, and it’s tiny, with a 6.7 display clad with an ultra-thin glass that folds like a clamshell for 200,000 times at most.

The history of foldable smartphones: the flip phone

Folding phones are not new; in fact, they have been all the rage before the fast, upscale smartphones arrived. Flip phones, as their grandfather versions were called, first debuted in the market in 1996. The clamshell design was packed with their own keypads and was considered stylish, especially by the Japanese who held on to their local brands even after Apple has won most of the world’s heart. Embedded deep into the heart of the space-saving phone user, it’s no surprise that this design is making a comeback - only smarter.

Smartphones that fold was an idea conceived by Polymer Vision in 2006. Nokia followed suit, releasing a tri-fold phone that unfolds into various shapes. The device was aptly named as Morph. Strangely, none of those brands are now present in the market, but there have been developments.

Now that technology is taking space in most of everyone’s lives, it’s also responsible for thinking up of ways that it will physically take up smaller spaces in the pockets. Samsung, as well as many other tech developers like Huawei, are constantly looking for ways to recreate smartphones in cooler, stylish designs to give users a glimpse of nostalgia, and a fresh hint of new possibilities.