https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifZXp2geVKI (apologies that this isn't a link to an official source; Microsoft doesn't seem to have it online anymore)
The things I'll be watching out for if this takes off:
1) How does the screen holdup in daily use? Does the Infinity Flex Display get work out or glitchy at the hinge after 10,000 folds?
2) Will the device get thinner? This is currently the size of two phones stacked on top of each other. I can't imagine carrying that in my pocket long-term.
3) What's it like to actually use? Is it comfortable to hold when fully opened?
Other than that, I could see this being pretty awesome, personally.
Ironically - if that's the word - I think a larger laptop format device with a tactile folding hinged screen would be more interesting than this enormo-phone.
This device will probably sell moderately in the nouveau Asian markets, but I doubt it's going to be a storming success, or the template for the next generation of devices.
I applied numerous time for their Failure Analysis Engineer, Reliability Engineer, and other similar positions but repeatedly got rejected (or simply ignored by their ATS, I don’t play that keyword game very well).
My professional career in Materials Science and Materials Engineering has had a large focus on reliability testing and failure analysis. In parallel with inventing new technologies or pioneering research projects I have had to rigorously test and verify the robustness of the products. To put it plainly: the position descriptions were me. I had a bit more experience and qualifications but not so much that I was “over qualified”.
When I see some of the things that get through their engineers, I scratch my head and wonder what’s going on internally. Is there a lack of empowerment? Are those positions more or less for show and, while filled with legitimate engineers, not really leveraged as they should be?
At any of the places I’ve worked stuff that Apple has let slip through would have never flown.
The iPhone 5S compass/accelerometer issue (those of you who had it know, it was a bummer) and solving that by replacing the phone with another faulty one? The 2010-MacBook Pro discrete and integrated GPU switching failure? Right now I’m sitting in front of a 2017 MBP that has been used as a stationary desktop and babied with a keyboard cover and much TLC that has strange screen artifacts that seem to indicate that it was pinched or there’s adhesive in those regions while the rest of the screen is trying to pull away? Whatever it is has been there since I got it and I didn’t realize it wasn’t suppose to be that way until recently.
I stopped applying to Apple because nothing was coming of it and the thought of working for a company that claims to be detail oriented but let’s that stuff slip through was enough to put me off.
What’s inspiring though is that it gives their competitors and easy way to jump on the market. I’ve seen plenty new students choose Surface Books or Pro’s over Apple computers or tablets.
There’s a point where companies forget to continue earning their success.
I expect the foldable phone technologies have gone through considerable cyclic testing. That doesn’t mean that some manufactured ones won’t be flawed and that also doesn’t mean that people won’t be doing normal consumer things that cause failure sooner, but it’s likely these won’t be too bad.
Did you see a trend with the type of class, did the PhD classes have a
Different distribution or was it other factors that affected it
In some executive teaching in Europe I have seen people using mostly Macs. It could be because of the industry where they came from. Among the masters students in France, about 50%-60% had Macs.
The caveat remains: This is "anecdata"
I find that the color added by a good story adds more to the conversation than the blatant elitism of a contentless dismissal.
I think it's worth noting that the issue with their keyboard was only really known of after the keyboard was brought to the MacBook Pro. It didn't occur at a high enough rate on the 12" MacBook for it to be publicized.
5) what effect does putting a hinge in the center of the device have on the thermal capacity of the unit (thermal capacity is almost more important for performace than ram on a modern mobile computer architectures)
6) what are the long term ramifications of splitting the battery cell into two halves. It must be less capacity due to the extra packaging and safety overhead.
I could go on.
It’s certainly not clear to me that having a mode which trades XY for Z is a win.
But it’s an interesting experiment. It will be entertaining to watch.
Consider Tesla batteries, which consist of thousands of cells. They are heavier and bigger than they could be (and indeed, their newer ones use somewhat fewer, larger cells for this reason) but it’s ok.
Phones are more weight sensitive than cars, but a two-piece battery is also not very extreme.
Personally, I would make one half of the device be 100% battery, and the other half hold all of the remaining components.
I'm not sure what the effect of that would be in terms of weight balancing, though. I'm not a hardware guy. I wouldn't be surprised if this led to the battery half being significantly heavier and feeling more substantial.
Still, seems like there are options beyond splitting the battery in half.
Solid points otherwise, though. Could you imagine have the screen wearing out faster than the other? That'd be a nightmare to look at.
Or does the hinge break if lands at just the right angle from 3 feet above?
All of them were still too think. I think iPad Pro 2018 got it about right. Somewhere between 5mm to 5.8mm would be perfect. But a 18mm foldable phone 5" Phone, I am not too sure. I would much prefer to have a thinner version of 6.8" iPhone.
The tablet side is actually more exciting to me, completely independent of the folding feature. I still don't have a good replacement for a Nexus 7, and this looks like the first tablet that's come out since 2013 that's both close to it in size and on par or better in terms of hardware. The N7 was basically the perfect form factor for my hands, and since I finally gave up on it I've been using an 8.4" tablet that's just narrow enough to hold in one hand but more than uncomfortable enough that I still complain about it years later. Even if the Fold is unusable as a phone, I might spring for one anyway as a pure tablet replacement. If it's also comfortable enough to carry and use as a phone, that's just gravy.
Honestly, as a first publicly available iteration it's pretty sleek. I'm excited for the future all over again as this becomes mainstream.
On 2008-02-25, Nokia showed a concept phone Nokia Morph . I have just watched the video about it  again and I am still as excited about it as I was 11 years ago.
> The phone's theoretical feature list would include the ability to bend into numerous shapes, so it can be worn around the wrist or held up to the face; transparent electronics, which would allow the device to be see-through yet functional; self-cleaning surfaces that can absorb solar energy to recharge the phone's battery; and a wide range of fully integrated sensors. [...] The manufacturer believed that some of the device's imagined features could appear in high-end devices by 2015.
So, I am waiting for something like Nokia Morph but also with a screen that can take the form of a standard physical keyboard and give me the same tactile feel.
What I like is it eliminates one device you may be carrying around. If you previously had a $900 phone and a $1100 tablet, you could essentially have both for the same price and fit them in your pocket.
Maybe Samsung has learned from Apple: the profits won’t be found down-market.
Will you be able to fit this in a pocket? My pockets can't fit anything bigger than a Pixel.
It's good that companies take these leaps of fate but they sort of seem reaching.
Why not wait and keep pushing the tech until it's worth releasing a beautiful product that can capture actual market share?
The ecosystem is Android. The vast majority of apps should work just fine, even on a display with an unusual aspect ratio.
Also, the smartphone market has started saturating and device makers are clamoring for a feature - any feature - that will get people to buy new ones. This has resulted in lots of little useless features as they attempt to differentiate, but here we have an actually super useful feature which is costly to implement and will induce real gadget-envy for the first time in years. So there's going to be a gold rush behind it.
Sort of like the Touch Bar on MacBook Pros (which I have). Yeah it’s awesome to have on select apps like Photoshop, Safari, etc but it’s in no way so valuable as to build a whole product around - like this phone is trying to do.
You can take the Touch Bar away from me at any moment and I won’t mind.
Unless apps deeply integrate with this folding capability etc its just a gimmick that I expect will die pretty quick or remain a very niche product.
I use multiapp all the time on my current phone. I love it. Android makes it easy to move in and out of multiapp mode, swiping the separator when you want to go back to full screen. Many android apps already support this feature.
This is the same thing, except with a larger screen & different panel arrangement.
It reminds me a lot of the first MacBook Airs that sold to a niche market at a premium for a few years until the technology had advanced to the point that they could target a mainstream price point, at which point they became exceedingly popular.
I could easily see the same thing happening here.
I agree. The writing is on the wall... people are ditching desktop computers in droves in favour of handheld/portable devices.
Just as I usually do with any new V1.0 tech... I'm staying away, but am excited about future improvements!
(It's not like I can buy laptops any more, since those are all garbage even when I pay $4000 for a supposedly high-end system, so I certainly have spare device money laying around!)
I've never been able to view these properly on a kindle. Well, last time I tried anyway, is it better now?
A foldable phone may meet his criteria, a Kindle would not.
Most of my books are still physical books. It‘s weird but I often buy books based on their cover.
The real bottleneck is UI, not CPU's.
Modern non-phone CPUs can have TDPs of more than 80W. If your phone did 80W, it would burn your hand. So, forgive me if I'm skeptical of any benchmark that says a phone outperforms a laptop.
You're arguing that the phone CPU can get significantly better performance, do so with less power, and occupy a form factor smaller than what a laptop requires? Why would I not just manufacture a less space-constrained version of this chip (to make it cheaper) and stick it in a laptop?
I Googled the specific benchmark you referenced. I'm not able to find results on it, but one of the top hits was this: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/googl...
Kind of like how a plane is faster than a car. You're trading off some flexibility for that added speed.
This sounds like punishment to me.
Hopefully enough early adopters buy this thing so that they keep iterating and improving on these. It's easy to see how a phone with a folding screen would be desirable to a lot of people... if it were thinner and cheaper. The first foldable phone is probably not going to be a great product, maybe not even the first 10 of them. In 5 years maybe they'll be great though.
Now there are lots of people that could benefit from this because you can have bigger letters on the screen. So it is far from a vanity product, like the latest and greatest iPhone it does have genuine utility.
There is also a class of people who are vastly richer than everyone else, you see them drive in stupidly expensive cars. For this type of customer the $$$$ of this gadget is not a consideration.
This gadget won't be 'displaying three apps at a time' any more than your desktop has three windows open side by side on it. It matters not about the keyboard, this is for consuming content with big type. Everyone has a regular phone already, this will sell well as soon as they can get the production volume up.
I can only speak for myself, but I have been waiting. Since 2011, to be precise, which is when Sanyo and I believe Sony came out with 4.3 inch phones that folded out into 7-inch tablets.
If there's any company that can invest properly in this form factor, it's Samsung, so I'm glad they're doing this.
Certainly not going to buy it at that price point though!
Purely from a Hardware Perspective, this is the best you can buy with no Trade oFfs. Apart from a slightly slower Single Core Pref Compared to Apple, the NAND, the RAM, The Display, 5G, WiFi 6, Battery, UnderScreen SuperSonic Finger Print, better Bezel less design, Best Camera Module on the front and the back. This is Samsung going all out.
Not sure how the market will react to it, but I sure hope Apple takes notes. You cant rely on iOS and Software forever.
Apple will release phones with foldable displays when they invent a real use case for it. Apple wouldn’t be able to rely on iOS if they released shitty phones. But they don’t.
1 - This is a new product category and I think it deserves its own stage.
2 - Fold is overshadowing everything else Samsung announced. Galaxy, etc. are their biggest sellers but they lost the main attention to the Fold. Basically Fold's hype will cannibalize market attention of their new announcement that will make most of their revenue.
I'm still skeptical of the screen surviving long-term wear too, but I'd imagine they've tested this with countless repetitions with some robot.
I also wonder if there ends up being a note version and how well that works with the stylus. All in all its a pretty fascinating device.
This one is way too expensive for me but I really appreciate the form factor and the technology innovation surrounding it. I'd love to see someone like JerryRigEverything  stress test and disassemble it.
I wonder how much Xiaomi's foldable equivalent will cost, which has no visible hinges.
I'm being priced out of high end smartphones, and I have a well paying job. This does not feel good.
I'm still doubtful about the usefulness, though. Does it support the S-pen?
I suppose they made it fold to the inside because their display technology limits them to it (even though intuitively I'd expect the opposite to be true), I would find it folding to the outside much more useful, since this thing you'll have to unfold to (properly, the outside screen is quite small) to use, but then it becomes a tablet ...
So far I see it mostly as a technology demo. I'm glad that manufacturers are actually selling them, though, it gives a good feeling of the practicability and readiness of the technology (and something for rich hipsters to buy).
Watching videos, reading ebooks or browsing websites on a large screen is the first use I can think of for this screen.
For reading: notch fits the status bar, so no text should scroll behind it.
The star of the show was the inside screen with nearly no bezel even less than the tab s5e or iPad Pro except for the camera cutout in the top corner.
Currently the s9 and s9+ have open betas for Linux on dex, and it works on note 9 and tab s4. I am pretty optimistic that the fold will support it.
But seriously, think about how great this would be: phone that could turn into a tablet when you want (say, to read or consume media, or edit photos, or take notes). That device would also be able to run in a desktop mode for you to carry out work when you need to. The device as it currently stands does the first two, with Linux on dex you get closer to the third.
What a beautiful time we live in.
I'm really hoping the experience on this will be much better, and really get me the convergent experience I've wanted since then.
Samsung is really attacking this from the business side (automatically load work desktop at work) and actually use it for development on the DeX team.
Its amazing that we can now write android apps on android itself.
Since this is so new, they had to trim all the fat to make the size reasonable. The Note variant in v2 or v3 should provide
Good product design starts by asking what the problem is and then building the solution. Samsung started with a technology and then tried to figure out how to sell it. The result is the gimmick you see here which, like all of the tablet-phone combos that came before it, does nothing particularly well and costs more than two solutions designed specifically for each use case (iPhone: 1000. iPad Mini: 400). When will people learn to stop jamming toasters and vacuums together?
Aren't Samsung's long line of successful phablets (and the influence they've had on other flagship phones) a stark disproof of your claims about “all previous tablet-phone combos”. Clearly, the utility the market finds in them differs from the utility you find in them.
We call that "integration," and it's been a feature of the tech industry for as long as there's been a tech industry.
Also, it's basically a phablet taken to the next level. Some people will find the use in that.
Samsung sells smartphones from $50 to (now) $2000. You are taking the highest possible price point and using that to push an argument about phone prices in general.
Is that the highest possible price? I see the article says "starting at $1,980" but I don't know where it goes from there.
The S10 line is the (great, IMHO) "answer" to the other flagships. And Samsung phones typically get cheaper after a couple months.
the avg person will tell you they don't know why the X is better it just looks more futuristic and that's why apple sells it for $1000.
I wouldn't expect a good travel display until Apple or MS makes a first party one.
There are 3 numbers with programs - 0, 1, and infinity (or, more pragmatically, "run out of memory"). Programs that have arbitrary limits like "3" are just wrong.
It's like the filename length limitations in operating systems. No matter how long they are, they are arbitrary and somebody overflows them. The real limit should be the size of the disk drive.
Allowing simultaneous viewing of arbitrarily many apps may not be a problem technically, but it would make the system more complex to use, with more possible interpretations of actions. It's a tradeoff.
Android nougat added that to the AOSP source so any android phone can open up to 8 apps at once in floating windows. This is not new tech. The 3 way app view is just a tiling window manager managing it in a weird way it's not a real restriction
Need more screen... just pull it a little wider.
This is like a car show showing a prototype car with just a new engine throw in the trunk. So amateur.