Folding Phones Will Never Be Good

By Alex Kim, Humor Editor

Over the past few weeks, two new folding phones were released by Samsung and Razr. But, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which was released last year, these two new phones redefine the idea of a folding phone. The Galaxy Fold is, in essence, a small tablet that folds into a normal-sized phone. By contrast, the 2020 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr are more like flip phones: a normal phone that folds into a smaller rectangle. 

This modern flip phone, though, has almost no practical purpose. It could be argued that, when the phone is folded, the device will be smaller and more pocketable than a normal phone. However, when the average consumer complains about their phone being too large, they are complaining about the size of the screen, not the whole phone in itself, meaning that these new models will not help solve the issue. 

In fact, the main feature of both phones may negatively impact the user experience in the long-term use of the device. Folding display technology is still very new and fragile. A small rock, if it were to get inside of the hinging mechanism of either phone, would destroy the display and require the consumer to pay for an extremely expensive repair. The folding feature of these phones is only appealing because it is a novel concept, one that could even be worth their price for the sake of smartphone innovation … if both phones did not cost upwards of $1,300.

The fact that both of these new folding phones are so impractical, fragile, and expensive means that people purchasing them are paying more for less. And this idea can be applied to all folding phones – present or future – because folding phones can never be good. There are too many basic hardware limitations that will never allow folding phones to become sturdy or decently priced. For example, every folding phone obviously has to have a hinge, and on a mass-production device, it will be impossible to create a hinge design that will never falter or break. Also, since these phones typically have two screens, they have to contain two batteries, which greatly increases manufacturing cost. Folding phones will most likely be remembered as a short-lived smartphone fad in several years once companies realize these products are neither innovative nor profitable.