7 problems with foldable phones that have not been solved yet

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

foldable phonesSince its introduction in 2019, it has gained momentum and we have seen remarkable improvements over the years. These improvements include stronger foldable screens, reduced display wrinkles and more powerful software.

It is evident that there are still many major issues with foldable phones that need to be solved. These are some of these issues that foldable devices in the future will have difficulty overcoming.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 wrinkle close up

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

A wrinkle on the screen is a problem that foldable phones haven’t addressed. This is particularly evident on Samsung folds. You can feel and see the creases on both the sides. Galaxy Z Fold 4Then there is the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Most foldable phones have screen wrinkles.

It is also worth noting the fact that other foldable phone manufacturers, Oppo, Honor and Huawei, have tried to address this issue with varying degrees success. We thought that was quite interesting. Huawei Mate X2Particularly, he had a wrinkle that was “barely visible”. In the meantime, Oppo Find InnIt has two small creases, instead of one large. However, these reduced wrinkles seem to come at the expense of water resistance ratings—not an easy trade-off.

This is a clear sign that progress is being made. But, we are determined to see a wrinkle-free future on all foldable devices.

No dust resistance

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 With Water Drops

Hadley Simmons / Android Authority

SamsungIt is the leader in IP ratings for foldable phones and has an IPX8 rating to ensure full water resistance. It is the only foldable phone that can boast waterproof capabilities. The “X” in IPX8 means that the pleats have no dust resistance rating.

Related: Everything you need to know about IP and ATM ratings

This is something that we want to see in future foldable smartphones. Given the number of moving parts in this form factor, we can appreciate the technical challenges of dustproof folding. For example, hinges and screen creases today still allow dust and other debris in. If we want to achieve dust resistance, we will first treat these areas.

Folding screens that feel and look cheap

Glare foldable screen Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Hadley Simmons / Android Authority

The challenges of folding screens have become more difficult over the years. Many models now come with Ultra Thin Glass (UTG). Samsung advances even S PenThe Galaxy Z Fold series has a lot of support, which is a testimony to the screen’s durability. Many foldable screens look cheap, however.

A foldable screen of glass will likely be too costly, but it will reduce the glare and improve durability.

Glare is an issue with some foldable devices such as the Galaxy Z Fold 4. In fairness, some devices like Vivo X Fold PlusThis problem can be solved by applying an anti-glare coating. The problem with folding screens is that they look plastic-like. Samsung’s foldable smartphones warn you not to touch the screen with your fingernails. This is something you wouldn’t have to do with a traditional smartphone.

A fully foldable glass screen is likely to solve this problem. Corning, a Gorilla Glass producer, is also working to develop ultra-thin folding glass. willow glass. It is not yet clear when this will happen and if manufacturers will still apply a plastic coating to it, as we see with UTG.

Application support

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Instagram App

Hadley Simmons / Android Authority

Software is an integral part the foldable phone experience. Google has done a great job with Android 12L. Samsung has also done great work in this area. However, today’s foldable phones still lack app support.

Some apps, such as the Galaxy Z Fold series, don’t support large-format foldable screens. Instagram is the best example of this (shown below), offering what is essentially an iPhone-style window when viewed from its large foldable screen. Instagram’s current status is especially disappointing considering the immense resources at its parent company.

Related: Android 12L – Everything you need to know about Google’s operating system for large screens

Instagram isn’t alone in this. Amazon isn’t optimized to foldable screens either, so you can see windows on the larger panels. Colleague AAJohn Callaham, a writer, also noted that the Wells Fargo banking app doesn’t work properly. Galaxy Z Fold 3-Not being able to use the fingerprint scanner to sign into an app when using a foldable display screen. It doesn’t matter what, app developers need to be quick.

These aren’t the only instances of poor app support. Some apps also don’t perform well with multi-window support and Samsung’s flexible mode. Hopefully, Android 12L will bring better support.


Xiaomi Mix Full 2 ​​2

Another area that saw cuts was the form factor of the overall spec sheet. Many foldable phones are subject to technical limitations.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has the same 4,400mAh battery as its predecessors, but it lacks the S22 Ultra’s 10x or 108MP cameras. In the meantime, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2It does not have wireless charging, water resistance, or a stop hinge. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with a larger battery but a 12MP +12MP camera system.

Due to their form factor, most foldable phones appear to have some spec reductions.

However, we can understand why these concessions are necessary. Due to its narrow screen, a phone like the Galaxy Z Fold series has an even narrower form factor. Many foldable phones are also thinner than regular smartphones when folded. If you put a lot of electronics in there, you won’t have much space for large batteries, big cameras sensors or other goodies. Many foldables are already available with dual battery designs to maximize the form factor.

Although it won’t happen overnight we want to see smartphone manufacturers make less compromises in order to offer a foldable form factor. If we want a truly non-compromise device, we might have to wait until new technologies like smaller lenses or better battery solutions. You may have to live with thicker folds. This is especially disappointing considering the cost of these devices.


Official Vivo X Fold Plus

What if you prefer a Xiaomi or Honor, Oppo, Vivo, or Oppo foldable smartphone? These devices are only available in China so you will have to import them. It’s a terrible shame because some of these devices are compelling alternatives for the Galaxy foldable.

As these companies deal with the development and supply chain challenges of foldable phones, we hope that this will change in 2023. But, we don’t want Samsung to be the default for another year.


Huawei Mate Xs 2 screen unlocked at hand

Chris Carlon / Android Authority

Huawei Mate Xs 2

The greatest problem with foldable smartphones is their high price. For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799. Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is more sophisticated and well-equipped, starts at $1,200.

The Huawei Mate XS 2 ups the ante even more, setting you back €1,999 (~$1,984). This is a ridiculous price, especially considering the absence of Google’s foldable support.

Clamshell folding devices are more cost-effective, but foldable-style gadgets are a different story.

There are cheaper folds, but the Galaxy Z Flip 4 costs more than $999. It’s still quite expensive compared to the average selling cost of the smartphone, but it’s comparable to today’s flagship. However, we cannot wait for foldable phones at midrange prices.

The big question is: How do we get mid-range pricing for foldable stuff? Some of the most obvious compromises are the chipset and RAM, storage, IP rating and battery capacity. We don’t think it would surprise us if the Galaxy A Flip comes with an Exynos 1280, Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 SoC and 6GB RAM. 128GB of storage is also included.

We expect companies to switch from cheaper, flat-panel screens to the likes of BOE and Chinese players. Actually, the Honor Magic VPreviously Uses BOE folding plate. We will not overlook players who use first-generation folding screens for their first midrange foldables, or cut back on UTG tiers.

What is your problem with a foldable phone?

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