Keeping up with phone trends can at times feel like an impossible task. Few industries move on faster than the smartphone industry, with the constant evolutions in hardware and software features proving tricky for the casual consumer to track. The latest emerging trend is one that might look familiar to a lot of readers, as it is not dissimilar to an iconic bygone trend which ruled the mobile phone landscape in the mid 2000’s. Yes, over a decade on from when everyone and their mother was walking around with a flip phone in their pocket, phone manufacturers have gone back to the well, with ‘foldable’ smartphones looking like they could be the way of the future.
While Samsung have led the way, releasing a handful of foldable smartphones (most notably the Galaxy Flip 3 and Galaxy Fold 3 earlier this year) that have floated around the market in the last couple of years, it would probably be fair to say that no particular model has really connected in a meaningful way. That doesn’t seem to have deterred manufacturers all over the world from looking to throw their hat into the ring, as the next 12 months looks set to welcome a brand new slate of new foldable options to the expanding market. Along with a whole host of prominent Asian manufacturers, including Xiaomi and Oppo, set to release their own foldable efforts in the coming months, the most intriguing newcomer might be Google’s, Pixel Fold, which will look to wrestle away Samsung’s stranglehold on the subgenre when it hits store, likely sometime early next year. And of course, all eyes will be on the biggest dog in yard, tech colossus, Apple, who thus far have not contributed to the growing field, though we can be assured they will likely be heard from and rumours are already circulating that an iPhone Flip could be on the way at some point in the near future.
So, what has prompted the return to the flexible hardware? It’s probably worth noting that despite the obvious comparison to the models of the past, these aren’t your dad’s flip phones. The aforementioned Galaxy Flip 3 is a clear example of how the concept has evolved, as unlike the famous models of yesterday, the modern editions are able to fold away into a convenient stow away having to comprise with a miniature screen display screen to make room for the keypad. Though the new models might share with the old the same questions over the actual practical benefits of the foldability versus just your regular smart phone (they are still, in some ways, an answer to a question no-one asked), the sheer nostalgic novelty of owning the modern take on the classic flip phone might be what brands are banking on to make the early investment worthwhile.
If you ask me, no fancy 5G foldable smartphone is topping the mighty Motorola’s which dominated every high school confiscation box in the late 2000’s. I bet the new ones don’t even have Snake!