An obscenely expensive and overly complex solution to a problem that doesn't even exist.
Samsung is showing its remade Galaxy Fold 5G mobile at IFA, under way in Berlin, and we got a short hands-on. Samsung said little about the Fold in its press conference this morning, making the passing comment that it represents "a new mobile category", but not much else. The device was launched in February but general …
"Its just something for people to boast "Look at me and how well I am doing!"
If they do that LITERALLY then you're absolutely right, wankers.
If they have the money to buy shiny stuff and you get bitter and annoyed every time someone pulls one out of their pocket then unfortunately the wanker is you....
I resent your accusation that this device will only appeal to posers. There are many, many practical use cases just crying out for a phone that will unfold into a tablet, such as.... well, loads of reasons. And anyway, you should have seen the look on my friends' faces when I pulled mine out and dramatically unfolded it in the coffee & breakfast cereal bar yesterday!
Now - where did I put my Hasselblad? I need to take a selfie and a pic of my breakfast for Instagram.
The article says it tiles three apps with a fourth floating on top.
Went waste time reading the article though eh? There's snark to dispense.
If you can't see a use for flexible screen technology you're short sighted. This is supposed to be the first step towards that.
> complex solution to a problem that doesn't even exist.
Sure the problem exists. Wouldn't you like a big screen that still fits in your pocket?
Personally I'd love to be able to just stretch the screen out, say to about A3, while folded down it should be smaller than my current phone.
Whether this is a good solution to the problem, I've no idea.
But the problem certainly exists.
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I have a use case for it. I often travel a long distance to participate in meetings, having carried a Surface Pro all the way just to view documents.
Something like this would mean I could ditch my briefcase, and just carry a phone, which has long been something of a holy grail for me.
...not enough of a holy grail to pay two grand for, but one step at a time, eh?
Why not just buy an 8" tablet?
The one I am using now will fit into a coat pocket or side combat pocket on trousers.
This one doesn't have a SIM card but I'm sure you could get an 8" tablet with a SIM card slot for less than 500 of your local currency.
Perhaps a Bluetooth headset to avoid holding a large thing to your face?
"An obscenely expensive and overly complex solution to a problem that doesn't even exist."
I currently have no use for it, so therefore clearly no one else has, as I know best.
Remember when LCD Tv cost over £2000? Or how about a car capable of 100mph would cost more than a house?
> An obscenely expensive and overly complex solution to a problem that doesn't even exist.
E-ink readers started at a similar price before becoming affordable. The first OLED screen sold to consumers was a similar price and was only 13" diagonal.
Nobody is forcing us to buy them, so where's the harm in letting wealthy people buy them, and thus pay for a chunk of the R and D, if they choose? They'd only splurge the cash on something else instead like a leather seat option for their Mercedes.
It's at the top of the hype curve right now. In 2-4 generations we'll see something affordable and useful. But not right now. I'm happy to see something different and dare I say innovative.
I can see more use for the folding screens on netbooks than on phones. Say a 6" square device with a 3 fold screen to give ~18" wide screen with a similar fold out keyboard. It wouldn't fit in your pocket but it would take up less space in a backpack.
"where's the harm in letting wealthy people buy them, and thus pay for a chunk of the R and D, if they choose?"
There is none, and speaking personally, if people want to buy something like this at that price point, more power to them! It's their money. I will, however, continue to laugh at them, much like I laugh whenever I see someone spend a lot of money on flash.
People said the same thing about the iPad. They invented a form factor.
People said the same about 2-in-1 devices. This was less successful.
The fundamental idea of a small, large screen, is very much welcome. Whether putting that in such a bulky 'small' container is useful remains to be seen.
Yep. If one of these comes down to what... double/triple a current "cheepo" Tesco/bangood phone? You can pick one up for less than £30. So it might take 10 or so years for this to come down to £200 or £100 per "folding" phone... but once it does, these are only slightly more than a leather clad posh filofax! (Looks it up) Gah... seems some filofaxs cost more than the *current* Fold.
Anything which has a narrow flexing region has a built in high stress point and absolutely will fail at that point - and that's without rough handling. Also, over mmmfty mmmmf years of both industrial and domestic experience I've found the failure always seems to give little advance warning, is very rapid once it starts, and quickly becomes catastrophic.
I've found the failure always seems to give little advance warning, is very rapid once it starts, and quickly becomes catastrophic.
And given that most manufacturers don't even provide software updates after 18 or 24 months I'm assuming that spare parts availability, repairs, and warranty will all be even less.
If my $35 toaster is dead after a year I'll write it off as planned obsolescence, but a phone priced at two grand?
"Anything which has a narrow flexing region has a built in high stress point and absolutely will fail at that point"
The future of flexible screens is the roll-up, allowing a curvature that is both less sharp and evenly distributed across the whole screen.
The new form factor of business tablets will be the scroll. E-signing can be complemented by physical sealing and signing of documents. In other news, sales of wax and signet rings soar. To complement the new Zeitgeist, "business casual" acceptable attire will henceforth include a toga.
Welcome to the future!
Removing that screen doesn't give much space; it's a pretty flat piece. Most of the volume of that area is already taken up with a battery and the chips for the phone. The battery would only be a little bit bigger. Meanwhile, losing the smaller screen means using it with one hand just became completely impossible. Also, I'd rather not hold the unfolded device to my face to make a phone call, though you could theoretically let a user place a call with the device unfolded and then fold it in while talking. Then again, the whole folding and larger screen component already means it's not for me, so I'm probably not the right person to assess your suggestion.
I'm actually at the point where I want less media technology in my pocket, not more. I like discrete tools for specific tasks, not a balled up mess of half-baked apps struggling to function under this month's iteration of Google 's "we've decided you don't need, or can't be trusted with" restrictions on Android devices.
As much as I like the idea of a computer in my pocket, Android is far from offering what I need. Screen size is the least of my problems.
Well, there is DEX, with some Android apps (eg Chrome and MS Office) optimised for mouse and keyboard use. And I think Samsung have played with full fat Linux.
Regardless, if this Galaxy Fold MK 1.2 proves the hardware concept, it might be that a foldable laptop might be a better use of it. After all, the main usability issue with netbooks was the letterbox display. "Imagine a Gemini with a bigger screen"
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"If you fold a material enough times, you will weaken the structural integrity of the object."
Where does physics tell us that? It doesn't. It tells us that some materials can be repeatidly deformed (within their elastic limit) without issue, and some materials can't.
Samsung aren't stupid ( though they have rushed things in the past: Note fires, first version of this Fold, not allowing Bixby button to be remapped) and they have tested the material. However they didn't perform the tests in the presence of dust. So, now its a case of seeing how good their dust sealing is, hardly an impossible challenge.
That shows the difference between having a robot fold/unfold a device in the exact same way every time in a temperature and humidity controlled dust free lab, and humans who apply torque, use too much force, crush it in tight pockets on jeans (or back pockets for women who will inevitably sit on it eventually) and expose it to dust, smoke, humidity, temperature swings, children, pets, sticky surfaces and on and on.
Those plastic screens are gonna scratch far more easily than the glass we're used to - it is like a return to the bad old days of pre 2005 phones with plastic displays that slowly became cloudy from exposure to lint/dirt/sand in pockets and putting it in a pocket with keys or coins was right out.
Still v2.0 ought to last more than a few days before they recall it. I'll be surprised that even if initial reviews are positive that they haven't turned scathing by Christmas, after a few months of us non-robotic humans getting their paws on it.
The screens are as prone to scratches as my soft laptop screen is - but being on the interior of a clamshell case mitigates against damage.
If a user tries to put a Galaxy Fold in their pocket without folding it up first, they are using it wrong. If the user's pockets are big enough to allow such daftness, Samsung will happily sell them a 7" tablet instead.
Doesn't matter if it is folded up, dust will easily get between the screens and as you walk rub them against each other making it scratch far quicker than the old plastic screen phones did. They'd be better off if it folded the opposite way, though folding phones will really need foldable glass or a plastic that's as scratch resistant as glass to overcome this problem.
Your laptop doesn't have a problem to this degree because it doesn't sit in your pocket, and the reason many laptops switched to a glass screen was because of the problems plastic screens have always had. I remember my laptops with plastic screens getting the impression of the keys on the screen. Mostly you could only see it with the screen off, but on large sections of a uniform bright color it was also visible.
Yes, I know Corning is working on it. They only need a tight enough radius for a fold with screen side out which is just a "tight bend" rather than folding like a piece of paper.
Maybe someone can come up with a way to deposit a thin non-crystalline layer of sapphire or diamond onto plastic to give it good scratch resistance without losing its flexibility?
IMHO folding phones won't be mass market until they can:
1) resolve any durability issues with the 'folding'
2) fix the scratch resistance problem
3) do a tri-fold, fan-fold or "unfurl" since folding from a square or worse yet to a square is not desirable for most
If it isn't crystalline, it isn't diamond. It is precisely the crystal structure that distinguishes diamond from graphite. I don't know if it is possible to form an amorphous solid with tetrahedrally-bonded carbon atoms. I fear they would just convert to planar bonding.
Icon -> recalling my metallurgy and materials science degree from 40 years ago.
You don't know how they tested the folding. But whatever they did, they had to do mechanically because of the time constraints. Mechanical testing is standard for all kinds of components like switches and buttons, which are routinely rated far above what's physically possible, to compensate for the stupid users. Of course, it doesn't always work, which is why we've seen the gradual removal of physical buttons from our phones. And companies, like your beloved Apple have opted for sub-optimal devices either for price or aesthetic reasons, with predictable consequences.
This phone represents a fairly unique value position. Yes, it's hideously expensive, but personally I find it more interesting that say an I-Phone X, which fully kitted out gets close to the price. I guess we'll see over the next six months to a year whether sales meet expectations (I'd expect Asia to be key) and whether they really have, er, ironed out all the kinks.
that makes disposable devices sensible and very expensive devices just a form of bling. That's because the useful life is determined mainly by the availability of security updates. Other OSs also have a limited security updates but they usually go on much longer than Android's.
That doesn't make a folding screen silly, I can see it being very useful in many work situations and for those who love films. So if Samsung have got the hardware problem cracked (if that's the appropriate term to use) and if they can produce enough to get the price down a lot, they could be on to a winner.
Not exactly. It's because the hardware is not open source using binary blobs for drivers, isn't always rootable, and that creeping featurism eventually exceeds the hardware capabilities.
There are a number of rootable devices out there. I used to love my Sony Ericcson Xperia Pro. It started on Gingerbread and made it as far as Ice Cream Sandwich before Sony stopped bothering to update it. However, enthusiast devs kept developing and brought it up to Kitkat (it was admittedly too memory constrained to run this well). The ability to use the HDMI port and radio died almost immediately, as the Gingerbread libraries wouldn't run in later Android releases.
Sailfish was also available, but without Android compatibility it's pretty useless.
Over time the resources used by Android and Android apps increase, and that's what tends to eventually kill devices.
Currently I'm using a Blackberry Priv, until my new Fxtec Pro1 arrives. The Priv is a lovely phone, but the fact its security stops it being rootable means it hasn't had any security fixes for a couple of years. I'm looking forward to being on a fully secure platform again, because I'm buggered if I'm spending another load of cash on the next non rootable device.
I think it's mostly correct. The device will continue to perform some functions. That is true. But as the time between last security update and today increases, it's more likely that malware, anything from a malicious app in the Play Store to a malicious web ad, can get at something I don't want it to. As such, I wouldn't be comfortable using a device without recent security patches for sensitive things like banking or sensitive email. And after a certain point, I wouldn't be all that comfortable using it for slightly sensitive things like most email or having my contacts on it unless I also had a certain degree of protection such as rarely using the web browser so I'd avoid exposure to potentially unsafe code. And while I have some degree of confidence in my ability to detect dodgy things and stay away from them, I don't have that confidence for most of the general public and security is frequently a group activity. I don't expect that I'll have the security update hours after it comes out, but if I'm over a year out of date, I'm a little worried, and if I'm over three years, I'm quite worried. When it's someone nontechnical instead of me, those times are reduced.
I honestly don't care about getting updates at all, mostly because I don't consider these devices to be even close to adequately secure whether or not they have the latest updates (and often, these updates bring their own additional security problems, not to mention often unwanted functionality additions/changes).
So I already have to engage in strenuous additional methods to make things reasonably secure on mobile devices anyway, rendering the need to have the very latest security updates less important.
how much of the device thickness could be reduced if the front screen were only a small display for notifications. Having one extra-large screen really should remove the need for the second one.
How long until you can swipe between virtual screen on the big display? Remember that 'extended' screen, back when screens were large enough to hold several apps, but maybe not quite large enough?
how much of the device thickness could be reduced if the front screen were only a small display for notifications.
Hardly any, I expect. Screen hardware is very thin, especially OLED / AMOLED. Doubtful Sammy's using oldskool LCD for the front panel on their new concept flagship.
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Actually this was openly discussed on several forums. It looks like Samsung got my messages but they had already implemented the fix I discovered at the time, in the form of screen compensation and had indeed read the paper(s) cited mentioning ITO migration as a potential wear mechanism.
Incidentally it does work at least on my Note 4, got the burn down to sensible levels simply by running it in full red mode for several days.
The fix for screen issues on the Fold seems to have been a simple redesign: not clear if this will work long term but the additional support of the wraparound cover may well improve its chances. The screen is still sensitive but far less so with more support behind it the chances for impact damage have dropped off.
The reality is the screen has to be made of plastic and it will feel horrible and will scratch over time. And most likely these things will still develop warps, cracks, visual glitches, annoying bits of dirt, moisture etc. over time even if it doesn't happen so rapidly that reviewers see the issues.
If that weren't enough reason to avoid them, then the £1900 price tag should. Even if the device were perfect, for that money you could buy an S10 and a top of the line tablet for less.
Even the first iPad made the same mistake the first Androids did. Too low specs. Yeah, I know it was cutting edge at the time, but it seems the most unusable iPads of the lot (similar to the first gen iPhone). Never, never take version 1, it gets software incompatibility so quickly, or chugs just doing daily tasks.
"We tested it for 200,000 times folding and unfolding,"
So are these test subjects what they're showing as demo models? Again, fold artifacts are there to see in the demo photo (the one with the white glove, which itself accentuates the fragility of the device, IMHO). Double disappointment: 5G mobile is also not what it's hyped up to be. Let's hope both technologies mature to a state of joyful usability. So far, no.
The question becomes whether bend artifacts are game over, or something users can live with.
It seems I rarely see anyone whose phone screen (or screen protector) doesn't have at least one crack, and many people have badly starred screens but find them usable - can't even be bothered to get a £5 replacement protector and fit it.
So possibly this won't really dissuade people, your brain might filter it out after a short time?
But for $2000?
This device takes hype and 'Gee Whiz!' bleeding edge purchasing to a whole new level of bizarre and disappointment, IMHO of course. That it's a 5G mobile device adds industrial waste icing to the cake, 5G being another big disappointment of 2019.