The Samsung Galaxy Fold has become quite the cautionary tale among smartphone makers. The lesson learned: Make sure it works before you release it.
Now, another smartphone manufacturer is expected to unveil a device with three screens. Have we learned nothing from the Galaxy Fold debacle?
Well, this new phone doesn’t operate like the Fold at all, which is probably a good thing. We’ll tell you how this new phone is reported to work and when you can expect to see it.
New LG phone has 3 screens
LG has released a trailer on YouTube that purportedly shows a smartphone with three screens. The trailer is meant to tease LG’s IFA 2019 conference in Berlin on September 6.
In the video, we see a screen on which a game is being played. Then a second screen unfolds. When the two screens are closed there appears to be a smaller screen on the front.
Earlier this year, LG revealed its V50 ThinQ’s second-screen accessory. The detachable second screen was never released in the U.S. and there was no front screen on the accessory.
Some tech watchers expect LG will be releasing the V60 ThinQ in which the second screen is not detachable and there is a front screen. Others are wondering if what LG really is teasing is a new second-screen accessory, this one with a front screen, that can be used with the existing V50 ThinQ.
However it is released, it’s clear this is no Galaxy Fold. The second screen is attached by a hinge and the screen itself does not fold.
The many ways to fold a smartphone
While it seems like a nifty idea, in practicality foldable phones don’t seem to interest consumers too much. In fact, there is a Samsung video of consumers using the Galaxy Fold and wondering why a cellphone that unfolded to the size of a tablet was needed at all.
Sure, it looked cool, but, as many said, what was the point? It didn’t get any better from there for the Fold.
Set to be launched in April, review copies of the device began breaking at a rapid pace. The Fold had a number of problems and it has taken Samsung several months to fix them. It is now expected to roll out next month, but T-Mobile, which at one point was going to offer the Fold, recently said thanks but no thanks.
Despite its ill-fated Galaxy, Samsung recently put in a patent application for a phone designed to split from one screen into three. Looking at schematics, it appears the screens don’t fold out, but rather fan out from a central hinge.
Why anyone would want something like that is anyone’s guess. But by filing the patent application, Samsung has basically called dibs on the design even if it never sees the light of day.
In 2017, ZTE Axon M released a foldable phone with two screens attached by a hinge. Remember that? Apparently, no one does as the phone sank rather than splashed with consumers and critics were pretty “meh” about it.
Various retailers are selling the phone for around $130.
In 2018, Royole Corporation unveiled its FlexPai Foldable Smartphone, which has the same concept as the Galaxy Fold. However, unlike the Fold, the FlexPai’s screen actually folds without breaking.
Tech reviewers said they were impressed by how durable the screen was, but that was about it. Like the ZTE Axon M, the FlexPai was not a hit with consumers.
Now we have this mysterious folding phone LG is announcing in September. Will it be a spiffy gotta-have device or will it be another disappointment?