The Future Of Smartphones Are Foldable, So Let’s Go Back To Flip Phones

The future of smartphones won’t be boring glass slabs anymore… Look forward to flexible screens taking you back to the age of the flip phone.

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I’ll start this with a question - what is the most annoying part of phones today? The fact you have to treat them as sensitively as your children. Don’t get me wrong, the entertainment value of that monolithic slab in your pocket is way higher than what you got from the flip phones of old. But come on, the smallest drop and you crack a screen. Good luck trying to fit it in your pocket.

Back in the day (feel so insanely old speaking like that), phones were a little bit stronger. You don’t just hear someone talk about the Nokia 3310, you hear someone talk lovingly about the fact they dropped it down some stairs and it worked perfectly.

A utilitarian approach to product design following that led to the advent of the flip phone - protecting the screen, enabling a slightly taller screen than what you got in the phones of old, and reducing the size of the device into something far more portable. And not only that, they were really good looking too. Everybody didn’t just start carrying Samsung flip phones because of the superior WAP store…

There have been android flip phones before, but they’ve not quite got it right… What if with new technology, we could get the best of both worlds? A smart flip phone that is all screen?

Well, this comes up after news hit the consumer tech space of a new Motorola Razr hitting the market pretty soon. What’s so special about this one? Well, according to patents (take with a slight pinch of salt, Lenovo are hitting both the nostalgia market with the design we all know and love, and the cutting edge of tech too - replacing the main display and T9 keypad with a full, flexible display that folds as you close the phone.

And then you think about it… That’s the form factor everybody wants! All the entertainment value of the slabs we carry around today, with the increased shell-like protection (and greater pocket-ability) of a clam shell design. That’s the dream, and we are close to getting our hands on it.

The industry are beginning to dabble with bendy screens on smartphones, as was evident with the Royale FlexPai at CES 2019. But whereas Royale designed a device with the screen folding around the outside, the most natural fit for this technology would be the other way round.

In order to see the future, sometimes you have to look back. History repeats itself and this is my bet - taking into account everything we’ve seen so far and the trajectory of current phone form factors and screen tech trends. Within five years, look forward to getting your hands on a smart flip phone.

It just makes sense… Or it could just be a pipe dream of mine. Let’s find out, shall we?