Is this the future, or should the players just fold?
Huawei isn’t a stranger to establishing new features on smartphones. Just a few days ago, we saw the P20 Pro and its triple camera system, a first in the industry. Huawei’s new patent may not be part of a brand new concept, but it’s a curious take on one. If this new patent indicates anything, Huawei may want in on the foldable smartphone market. Think about things like the ZTE Axon M, and you pretty much get the idea.
The patent was filed with WIPO on September 19 last year and saw itself published just earlier today. The patent shows a folding system similar to the hinge on the Microsoft Surface Book, but much smaller. Where the Huawei concept really establishes itself however is with its single foldable display, which folds along with the phone. This makes it different from things like Axon M or Kyocera Echo, which both have two displays.
The technology for completely a foldable display is definitely out there. We’ve seen multiple functioning prototypes, but none of them have been all too usable. If Huawei is serious about this device, this must mean they’ve found a way to have a practical foldable touchscreen on a device. Still, there are plenty of problems with the concept, like how to use the device if it’s shut. Can we still see notifications then? These are things that need to be ironed out before launch.
I’ve said this when the Axon M came out, and I’ll say this again. I feel like foldable smartphones are a really nice concept that could go far, though all available options are too impractical to use. I really wanted the Axon M to be the exception, but it seems to have quite a few drawbacks as well. Hopefully Huawei comes through and makes a folding smartphone I’d actually want to use daily.