Folding phones are the new 3D TV

In a live broadcast At the media event on Wednesday morning, Samsung unveiled a pair of new high-end phones, two stylish smartwatches and a set of candy-like headphones. If you weren’t very careful about the announcement, it’s good; with everything going on in the world right now, smartphone launch events may have been moved to the bottom of your priority list.

However, they haven’t slipped down Samsung’s list. The electronics giant is the world’s largest smartphone shipper, and it still really wants you to pay attention to smartphone launch events. He wants to show that technology only works one way. He wants you to think about how a new phone might fit into your life. Better yet, he wants you to consider how a folding phone could fit into your life, and it bent the laws of mechanical engineering to fit it into your pants.

Enter two new foldable cell phones. The Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 were both unveiled at yesterday’s virtual event. The first folds up like a book and the second folds up like an old flip phone (hence the name). But wait, what’s up on a phone that’s opening up, a Luddite might wonder, and rightly so. To see the innovation in Samsung folding phones, you have to look at the screens – layers of soft, carbon-reinforced polymers that unfold when you want a big screen and close when you don’t. Your iPhone cannot do this.

Samsung’s latest foldable models are even more impressive than the folding models that came before them. (The company began marketing foldable phones in 2019, after years of development.) And yet foldable phones are still the 3D TVs of the smartphone world: born with the intention of turning their heads towards a one-to-one product. when the market for this product has softened. They are technically complicated. They are expensive. And their ease of use depends a lot on how the content is displayed there, meaning that manufacturers can master all the technical specifications and still have to wait for software makers (or entertainment companies) to create stuff for them. fill those space age screens.

All of this does not bode well for the future of foldable phones, although some analysts are more optimistic.

An open and closed case

What Samsung has done with this new hardware is remarkable. the first Galaxy Fold was delayed due to a faulty display, and even after re-editing it was thick and made slightly arthritic sounds when you opened and closed it. the Galaxy z flip, released in early 2020, was the fun and experimental little brother of the Fold. It folded down like an old Motorola Razr (which was also re-released as a a foldable). It had a new scratch resistant screen. It was purple.

But both were ridiculously expensive – $ 1,980 and $ 1,380 – and other than the innovative displays, they didn’t have all of the latest and greatest components. The next foldable, the Z Fold2, released in fall 2020, had a larger screen and supported 5G, but it hit again for failing to offer the best Samsung smartphone cameras.

The new Galaxy Z Fold 3, on the other hand, is perhaps the most Samsung phone never. It costs $ 1,799. Its screen has a very high refresh rate. It’s more water resistant and, according to Samsung, many percentage points more durable. It works with the S Pen, made possible by a nifty two-panel digitizer that lives under the flexible display. The Fold3’s rear camera trio is complemented by a under display camera.

The Flip Companion 3 updates Samsung’s clamshell design, and it’s still as cute as hell. It’s also supposed to be more durable this time around, and the small screen on the phone’s closed cover has been made bigger. The price has also gone down: the old Flip cost $ 1,380, but the new model starts at $ 999.

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