Just open it enough times and the display will start to degrade...
Nah. I'll rather have a device that is not bendable. Sad truth is that bending devices will replace everything just because it can break and need to be replaced.
New products are traditionally developed in darkness – but rarely launched in darkness too. Samsung yesterday turned the auditorium lights way down before "revealing" its first Foldable Thing. This Foldable Thing was brandished in a Samsung executive's hand – some distance from spectators. And you couldn't get any nearer. That …
Jeez ASAC I bet they never thought of that. They definitely wouldn't destruct test this very aspect of the device knowing it was really difficult to build, and something people would be concerned about. It's not like the entire reason these devices are taking so long to develop is because of that very issue.
I expect they'll want to head-hunt you for more cutting-edge insight.
The awesome destruct testing at Samsung you suggest might be happening brought us the exploding NOTE 7. So lets hold your the sarcasm until they hit the shelves and then start to degrade.
This top class testing also includes recalls for microwaves, washing machines and fridges.
Just open it enough times and the display will start to degrade...
Given that Samsung is an industrial conglomerate with a small consumer electronics business, I think they might be aware of that and have done the tests. In fact the presentation goes into that including needing a new adhesive to cope with the folding.
They aren't giving them to people to fold and unfold thousands of times. They are having it done by robots, which do it exactly the same way every time. In the real world, sometimes you slam it shut and sometimes you carefully close it, sometimes you torque it a bit to one side while pulling it open, it sits in your pocket and gets squeezed (perhaps a lot, given how thick that thing would be when folded)
So no, having a robot fold it 100,000 times would not make me feel confident it will be fine in the real world.
@DougS – no shit Sherlock. But, again, this is something that the company understands well. There are bound to be issues with the screens, temperature is particularly likely to be a problem, but I'd expect the mechanical stuff to be well understood and appropriately tested. Unlike, say, the antenna problems of a certain rival phone maker when it decided that an aluminium cage was the best thing to put a radio in, because it was so beautiful.
This sounds a lot like Apple and their extremely comprehensive handling tests done on the iPhone X, which because it was so super-secret all had to be done indoors in controlled conditions. Conditions which included making sure the hands of the test users were always dry, not-slippery and not likely to fail to get a grip on an all-glass extremely slippery and extremely impact-sensitive expensive shiny thing.
Which stole the crown of most expensive thing commonly dropped and broken from the likes of Samsung and Faberge et al.
Actually, an actual folding-screen tablone (what?!? "phablet" was already taken!) would scratch a very old itch of mine - it could conceivably stand in for a full landscape qwerty keyboard and a screen, even if not quite as comfortable to type on as a true mechanical keyboard.
Samsung though does deserve all the scorn in the world and more - after demoing flexible screens for years and years without producing any actual device, they finally announce having perfected... the concept of a flexible screen, without any actual device?!? Burn in hell motherfuckers, you deserve to be last in the race to produce a flexible commercial product, with some of the other players now snapping at your heels. "Hold on, I'm the first to come out with a foldable phone... no wait I'm not but honest guv I'm nearly there so it still counts!" is not a valid excuse. Baka Chaebol.
Watch the presentation (about 1:22 in) because it is quite interesting. Flexible displays are hard™ and a lot of the technologies and materials that we hoped could be used have failed to deliver. Yes, it's important to see what is actually available and at what cost but mass production is due to start over the "next few months".
Personally, I think the technology could really be revolutionary but as to whether it will be Samsung that makes the most of it, well, that's another question, because I'm sure we will see a slew of interesting but ultimately useless designs.
The presentations, however, are worth watching. While "One UI" looks like an admission that Samsung fucked up UX for years, it also shows that they've finally started thinking about the users. Basically the biggest indication so far that Samsung has a coherent strategy for breaking out of the consumer electronics follower segment.
" mass production is due to start over the "next few months"."
Are you basing that on the claims in the sales pitch? If so, you might be forgetting that you can't rely on anything said in those things, particularly claims along the lines of "we're beginning production soon".
In fairness those rulers snapped cleanly in two rather than shattered in a million splinters so they held up quite well to the boast (liquid nitrogen is required to properly shatter them.... As I was told by an old friend with access to the stuff for putting bearings into planes)
Actually, I think there's already a game of that style. It's based on the old "marble box maze" with the plate that could be tilted forward/back left/right using twisty knobs, the result being that the marble would then roll down various tracks, & if you did it wrong then the marble fell down a hole & you had to start over.
The Android game did the same thing but used the tilt sensor to mimic the knob action (narf narf!) & roll a virtual marble around the screen.
Otherwise the bendy screen version could make the game even more difficult by adding a 3D version that required manipulating your balls (naaaarf!) on one side of the bend for the horizontal and on the other side for the vertical.
I'll get my coat, it's the one with the pockets full of marbles. =-)p
Just possibly... the main feature of this device is the screen, so by dimming the lights the rest of the device disappears and people can only focus on the (illuminated) screen.
Trivialities, such as colour, that certain other publications would focus on, are for later. Focus on the screen for now.
This did little to dispel the idea that foldable displays are a solution looking for a problem
I suppose if your already-ludicrously-oversized phablet still isn't big enough for you, one that folds out to twice the size might be just what you need; it would be big enough to hide your face behind if you're feeling embarrassed. But it seems like pure gimmickery (gimmickry?) at this point, I have yet to see a compelling use-case for such a device. Of course, seeing one up close in a well-lit room to figure out its actual capabilities and limitations might help with that...
"If you unfold a rectangle, you're going to get something that looks squarish"
If the folding technology works and can be applied to a tight enough curve (and hence to a narrow enough device), you could have multiple folds. for example a device with 6:9 ratio with a fold at each end would fold out to 18:9 tablet. With phones nowadays getting thinner than 7mm, the fully folded device would be less than 2cm thick, just like old dumbphones and, incidentally, much more comfortable to hold in the hand for use as a phone.
The bigger tech question isn't so much as to how it can fold as to whether it manages to consistently unfold to a totally flat position without leaving a very slight angle
The problem with the ~ 4:3 ratio this will have unfolded is that most people like bigger screens for watching videos. They'd probably be better off having it be basically a square when folded which is fine for using it as a phone or texting someone.
I've always said though that for a folding phone to really take off it'll need to be a trifold device to get the ratios right. That will mean something a LOT thinner. This thing would be REALLY thick when folded, though they might not have showed the real device that goes on sale. If this is what goes on sale, it isn't going to sell much.
"Nope.. Having a particle accelerorator on my desktop was what did it for me."
When I visited the Diamond Light Source* earlier this year, I did wonder if I could build my own using parts from an old TV and a vacuum pump....
*Well worth a visit on the few days it's open to the public - note that you have to enter a ballot for tickets to visit, you can't just turn up.
I'm old enough to remember when we looked at things with a squarish aspect ratio
Actually, so am I. And there are obviously still quite a few people still content without colour, but having a form factor that's different to most modern content (unless you count mobile phone clips shot vertically) is likely to go down less well with the modern teeny-boppers and the producers of moving picture promotions for popular beat combos, I would have thought.
Actually mobile phones have moved towards a 2:1 aspect ratio because it makes reading websites easier (less scrolling required) given that the chief limiting factor is the *width* of a phone. Video playback isn't the only concern for most phone users. However, video playback is likely the main use for cheap n cheerful Android 16:9 tablets.
When the limitation of fitting in a trouser pocket is removed, we have the 4:3 iPad mini (jacket pocket or handbag) or iPad (coffee table).
@Warm Braw: "still quite a few people still content without colour,"
So that story got us talking in the office yesterday, given there's no analogue signal any more. A bit of googling shows that external Digital Receivers can still be bought with RF outputs so it's technically feasible to receive a digital signal and pipe it out to an old telly, but the then the picture will be Pillar Boxed(or side cropped, depending on the chosen aspect ratio in the set top box) and then the EPG would be unusable. I guess those that are happy to watch B&W are probably still happy to flick through 'The Radio Times' for such info I guess. It seems like a lot of effort to go to, to save a few quid, getting sub par results, when a modern colour LED TV would use a lot less leccy.
"I suppose if your already-ludicrously-oversized phablet still isn't big enough for you, one that folds out to twice the size might be just what you need; it would be big enough to hide your face behind if you're feeling embarrassed. "
considering the number of ipads you see people wandering about with, phablets are too small...for some..
this is about form and ease of carrying..no need to be ashamed of your small one...
They stole Samsung's thunder with a ridiculously terrible folding phone, yes. There's still room for a proper one, but based on specs alone Samsung's isn't it. A 7.3" screen is hardly bigger than the 6.5" screens common in large phones today. OK, given its aspect ratio it probably has 75% more screen area when unfolded but it isn't 16:9 so it won't be useful for watching videos or gaming - the two primary reasons most people would want a larger screen!
Curious, if you want one, what would you do with the bigger screen? You don't see an aspect ratio nowhere near 16:9 as a problem for your intended use? You don't see having it be much thicker/heavier as being a problem? You'd be willing to pay the rumored $1500 price to be an early adopter of this turkey?
Due to difficult of producing large OLED panels, Samsung has retreated from pushing them for monitors so I wouldn't expect to see them pushing the folding screens there soon. Assuming they can make the panels then I suspect they will initiialy all go to phones for the time being: think of the price of a TV 55" that would equate to the number of S9s that can be made from the same OLED panel.
How would a folding monitor save space on your desk? The base is the same size either way, and that's what takes up space.
As for transport, yeah its easier but what percentage of people do you think move their desktop monitor more than once a year? This is far too much of a niche market for anyone to ever bother addressing - and if they did the price would be so high due to tiny volumes you probably wouldn't want to buy it anyway.
I think that's harsh. There are lots of very neat uses, the reason we haven't had them is it's really difficult to build not that they can't think what to use it in. In fact they've had years to plan uses while the tech is proved (a mate was working in this field out of uni, 15+ years ago).
Tablets are way better than phones for a lot of things, but they can't replace phones and you don't really want to carry a tablet 24/7, let alone a tablet AND a phone. The trend in ever-bigger phones/phablets shows there is a desire for a convenient, large-screen device.
A phone that can actually fold out into a tablet, without weighing a ton, would be great. I can't really see how they solve the battery or weight problem though even if the screen is market-ready.
A proper folding phone might sell by the boatload. It would have to be a trifold device so it unfolds to 16:9 and is MUCH larger than what you could get with a non-folding phone, weigh less than 8 ounces, and be no more than 1/2" thick when folded up.
IMHO, of course, but I don't see a device that unfolds to a roughly 4:3 like this one, and is only 7.3" at that, being much of a success. Most people would want a bigger screen for watching videos or gaming, and both need 16:9. They also want something MUCH bigger, getting something only a little bigger than what you can get now if you buy one of the larger phones isn't worth the higher price, greater likelihood of problems, heavier weight, reduced battery life, etc. etc.
IMHO, of course, but I don't see a device that unfolds to a roughly 4:3 like this one, and is only 7.3" at that, being much of a success.
Why are you so hung up on the specs of the demo device? It was so obviously a protoype but there are presumably multiple different designs currently being tested. We'll probably know more in a couple of months but until then we should assume that, at least some of the people in Samsung are thinking about the right form factors for their target markets. Personally, I think that A6 -> A5 would be a good place to start but we'll all just have to wait and see.
I remember seeing some sci-fi show where they had devices that rolled rather than folded. So they pulled the device out of a tube.
I wonder if that would be less stressful on the screen than a fixed hinge.
I think the magic in the show was that the 'rolled screen' went rigid when it was extended.
But this is interesting, it would be one of the first really novel innovations in mobile tech for a while.
Earth Final Conflict.
As an aside.
There was a Philips subsidiary that developed a "roll up" eInk based screen. Philips sold it and only does lamps + health now (like 1926). The TVs & audio are two companies renting badges,
Philips Semi -> NXP, sadly about to be devoured by Qualcom.
Unfortunately Amazon bought the Philips subsidiary or the eInk tech, though they don't use it. They buy the actual eink brand (Vizaplex, Pearl, Carta) etc for Kindle.
Sony also had a demo of roll up display, possibly eInk.
Really only OLED or eink with amorphous transistors on a plastic substrate with plastic layers will work. Lifetime may be low. Worrying that newer eReader eInk displays may already be plastic substrate. Yes, less likely to be cracked, but what is life?
These people need stopped: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Amazon
The ability to fold the Samsung device into a smaller form will make it take up less space in the trash bin where I chuck all the other Androids that won't allow me to uninstall Facebook and other bloat.
And how come there are no permission controls for these apps?
Much needed permission controls came out back in 2015 with Marshmallow*, why the regression of privacy controls?
* there was some decent control of permissions released long before Marshmallow with "Appops" but Google quickly removed it
I Will tell you WHY!!!
I am dyslexic. You know what has killed my ability to read on the internet?
10 years of Geocities/GoDaddy flickering flashing dancing text? Nope.
10 years of people not knowing how to use HTML? Nope.
It was the 5 years of the "design" brigade making every website iPhone portrait only compatible. So
Bring back landscape and 4:3 any day!
> Given that the current vibe is firmly in the 2:1 aka "letterbox" arena, why should anyone want to fold it out square?
The 2:1 vibe is just a function of phone width being a limiting factor. This is why tablets aren't 2:1 and neither are most monitors (unless they've been specifically chosen for gaming or watching cinema aspect ratios.)
@dyslexic AC. Seems to me that a landscape 10" foldout would be just what you need, even if 2:1. Meanwhile, get a Planet Gemini. It has a 6" 2:1 landscape screen and will automatically adjust to your orientation. It's not an iPhone so that shit won't override it. It has a foldout keyboard, netbook-style, for which YMMV. Or, if you need slicker phone functionality, sign up for Planet's Cosmo Communicator due next Spring, which also has an external screen so you can use it more naturally as a phone while closed. Cheaper than the new iPhones, too!
I bought a phone-sized projector containing WiFi, Bluetooth and an Android OS and was very impressed - pretty cheap as well. It's perfect for occasions when you need to look at a reasonable size image on a very portable device. The LED projection is bright enough to see in shaded daylight up to about A3 size, and in a dark room will project very watchable movies on a wall or screen several metres in size. Battery charge lasts over 2 hours of continuous projector use.
So my idea would be a phone with a normal size display, but with a projector lens on the edge for when you need to see some reasonable detail or display something to a group of people.
There have been phones with projectors in the past but really the projector is better as a discrete gadget. Of those who would find a projector occasionally useful, only a small fraction would need it so often that they'd want it integrated into their phone. It'd be far more useful to connect to it by cable or WiFi when required - if only so that you can use the phone to line up content without knocking the projector out if alignment with whatever you've pointed it at.
...even some of them behave like iSheep. Although I also suspect some do it for views. With one tech YouTube channel with the headline "Samsung's foldable phone is here" Erm no it's not. Keeping you really far aware and not letting you near it should really set off alarm bells. Why do companies even do that as it makes it obvious you're misleading everyone, magic leap comes to mind.
I guess one arguement is Samsung can now show they had it on display first. If Apple releases one and then attempts to sue Samsung for "folding" an object.
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