A foldable smartphone is becoming increasingly popular in a world where smartphones are becoming universally reliable. We must consider whether foldable phones are worth it in 2022 as screens continue to grow and footprints continue to shrink.

A Foldable Phone Is Emerging:

Over the last 15 years, smartphones have remained largely the same, with only minor differences in the front and back design, as well as the phone's screen size, increasing with each iteration. However, just as we were beginning to think that smartphone innovation was slowing down, the foldable phone quickly gained attention.

Revolution of the foldable phone:

Royole Flexpai in 2018 set off the folding phone revolution, which was accelerated further when Samsung announced 2019 the Galaxy Fold Series, the first mainstream foldable phone. 

Foldable phones have become wildly popular since then.

According to an Omdia report, foldable has shipped 11.5 million units worldwide since the first folding smartphones were released in 2015.

In 2021, 9 million foldable phones were shipped worldwide, a growth of 309% year on year.

Stance of the industry on foldable smartphones:

The new form factor was initially skeptical by both consumers and the industry when Royole Flexpai was unveiled in 2018. Several reasons led to skepticism about the folding form factor, including its higher price tag and 1st-generation technology, along with questions about its durability. The foldable phone market has grown rapidly over the last four years, and smartphones are slowly embracing folding technology.

Samsung Folding Phone:

The Samsung Folding Phone Market is without a doubt the most competitive market in the world. No one comes close to their sales.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 devices were released in the second half of 2021 and accounted for 8 million of the 9 million foldable shipped that year.

Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 are currently in development by Samsung.

Oppo Folding Phone:

First time in the folding phone category, Oppo presents the Find N. Even though Oppo was late to the industry, it has already impacted it to a large degree. Despite its low price, Find N features a number of designs, functionality, and features that often surpass its competitors.

 Xiaomi:

Despite Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold failing to meet its sales targets, the phone did create a good base of customers that the company seems devoted to supporting. Mi Mix 2 has recently been released, which improves the foldable experience, and the Mix fold still receives updates that improve the foldable experience.

Google:

In the coming years, Google is expected to release a foldable device, though this has not been confirmed by Google yet. 

While Google has been working on optimized Android and iOS apps for foldable and tablets, its software department has been hard at work.

Apple:

The existence of a foldable device has been rumored for many years but no official confirmation has been made by Apple. Despite Apple's slow adoption of trends, its execution is known for being polished.

Microsoft:

However, KT Corporation, which is South Korea's second-largest wireless carrier, could be the exclusive retailer of the buttonless Galaxy S25, according to these tweets. Thus, the Galaxy S25 variant sold globally may still have physical buttons, but KT's version may feature a different design and new software features to compensate for the absence of physical buttons.

A few others:

This brand new prospect wasn't left unattended by other companies. They each represent their respective company's attempt at the foldable device with their own Moto Razr 5G, Huawei Mate X series, TCL Trifold, and Vivo X Fold.

An analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of foldable smartphones is presented below.

Benefits:

Screen with a larger size:

Foldable phones have the advantage of incorporating a larger screen into a smaller physical footprint, which makes them a major advantage over traditional smartphones. Many possibilities are opened up by the ability to change the screen size as needed. With this phone, you get most of the benefits of a tablet phone without the drawbacks.

Multitasking is easier:

Smartphone multitasking has been significantly improved by foldable smartphones' larger screens.

drawbacks :

Costly:

Currently, folding smartphones are more expensive and offer fewer features than regular smartphones. Using the $1799 Z Fold 3 as an example, let's compare it to the $1119 Galaxy S22. Its battery, camera, RAM options, screen quality, and pixel density are significantly inferior to the S22 Ultra, despite its much later release.

Unfriendly to users:

The industry hasn't spent enough time and effort optimizing foldable technology because the technology is still relatively new. This results in a less-than-perfect user experience with the new foldable phones.

Amount of durability:

In spite of the fact that folding phones have improved in durability in recent years, there's no denying that they are less durable than classic smartphones due to their numerous moving parts.

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