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Thread: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

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    Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Follows the RAZR V3 design quite closely – slim lines a contrast to the Royale at CES.
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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    What's the overall advantage of a foldable smartphone? I guess it would protect the screen but it seems like a massive trade-off as you'd have to include mechanical elements (which would make it more prone to breakage - maybe not massively prone but compared to having no mechanical elements, definitely more prone), and compensate for large/split batteries to retain current battery life so you'd probably end up with something quite thick when folded, or with reduced battery life.
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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    What's the overall advantage of a foldable smartphone?
    More screen area, dual screen, and whatever else you could say was a pro about, for example, the Nintendo DS.
    Depending on how it was done, ie roll-up or single folding panel, it could mean one massive screen that makes tablets pretty useless.
    One thing I always liked about all my earlier folding phones was that it actually protected the screen and negated the whole screen-protector market - It's £45 for a Note9 protector!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    it seems like a massive trade-off as you'd have to include mechanical elements
    How often have you known someone snap a Nintendo DS? GBA SP? Laptop? Other foldy thing?
    By comparison, how often have you known someone bend, break or crack their large glass phone screen?
    It's pretty simple to make a highly robust hinge these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    compensate for large/split batteries to retain current battery life so you'd probably end up with something quite thick when folded, or with reduced battery life.
    Large batteries aren't a problem, as they could do with being a touch bigger.
    Phones themselves are stupidly thin already anyway. I can't actually hold my Galaxy S5 securely without using an Otterbox, and the thinner it is, the easier it is to bend.

    Smaller phones, with bigger screens that fold/slide/roll away, can only be a good thing, no?

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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    My point is that more screen area (or not) will come with a trade-off and I can't see see value in that trade-off at the moment.

    You say more screen area but the plan in the article doesn't seem to demonstrate that. And eve if you did add a larger screen, it would still come with the necessary trade-off of more bulk. You could only add a larger screen and retain the same overall volume by reducing the size of another substantial component - and the only likely candidate for that is the battery.

    If you keep the screen (and the battery) roughly the same size as current phone but introduce a fold, you'd end up with something smaller, but thicker (akin to the DS in your example) with roughly the same volume. Personally I'd find the non-foldable 'candy bar' form a better fit in my pocket, but maybe there is a market for shorter, thicker phones.

    And I'm not saying that a hinge is likely to break (you gave plenty of examples of tough hinges), but a hinge is inherently weaker than not-a-hinge. And a phone kept in a pocket all day is likely to see move mechanical trauma than a laptop or console.

    Not sure about your battery point - large batteries are certainly better (loving the 4000mAh in my current phone), but large electrical capacity comes with large physical size and that inhibits this kind of form factor.

    My point, in a nutshell, is that a hinge is a (relatively large) mechanical element which must be accommodated in the mechanical design somehow, and that accommodation by definition will come at the expense of either a smaller battery (with a similar screen size to current) or a larger overall volume (larger screen and similar/larger battery).

    (I don't think adding a foldable screen will inherently improve the screen's survivability, though the materials the foldable screens are made of are presumably pretty shatter resistant - these materials could be implemented with or without a fold if you were simple looking to improve the durability of the screen).
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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    The RAZR V3 is still my favourite phone of all time. I hope this 2019 edition actually becomes something.

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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    You say more screen area but the plan in the article doesn't seem to demonstrate that.
    You didn't say it was this specific phone, just "a foldable smartphone".
    If you want to talk about this specific phone, then yes it has far more screen space than the RAZR V3 of similar design. Probably the intent. The same follows with most smartphones, though - With a folder you could start with a normal size phone, but still unfold it for almost twice the screen space.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    And eve if you did add a larger screen, it would still come with the necessary trade-off of more bulk.
    Depends what you start with. Like I said, most phones are too thin for me already, and the need for bigger and bigger screens just means we effectively end up with a massive pane of glass in our pockets.
    But with most of the gubbins in one half, the additional screen would only be a few mil thick. Possibly less, with the right spatial planning. Already they're making laptops that are stupidly thin, so why not phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    You could only add a larger screen and retain the same overall volume by reducing the size of another substantial component - and the only likely candidate for that is the battery.
    Or rearranging the components half and half, so an even bigger battery taking up one side and the PCB fancy bits in the other. Opened up it'd still be the same as a normal phone, if not slightly smaller, but with more screen area to play with you could also spread things out to make them still thinner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    Personally I'd find the non-foldable 'candy bar' form a better fit in my pocket, but maybe there is a market for shorter, thicker phones.
    There's definitely one - Already I have to wear cargo pants just to have a pocket that fits the phone! My favourite form factors have always been smaller, slightly thicker phones that are easier to pocket. My first Samsung even fit in the watch pocket of my jeans. If the current phone design gets any bigger, I'll be able to use it as a riot shield!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    And I'm not saying that a hinge is likely to break (you gave plenty of examples of tough hinges), but a hinge is inherently weaker than not-a-hinge.
    Depends on the hinge - Hinges can easily be designed to over-flex. Rigid-frame bodies inlaid with glass, not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    And a phone kept in a pocket all day is likely to see move mechanical trauma than a laptop or console.
    Depends how often you use it and how much you abuse it. None of my previous folders had damaged hinges, despite me habitually flipping them open like Captain Kirk... especially my old Star-Tac!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    Not sure about your battery point - large batteries are certainly better (loving the 4000mAh in my current phone), but large electrical capacity comes with large physical size and that inhibits this kind of form factor.
    My point is that it'll only be a few mm thicker, which won't bring the sky crashing down on us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    My point, in a nutshell, is that a hinge is a (relatively large) mechanical element which must be accommodated in the mechanical design somehow, and that accommodation by definition will come at the expense of either a smaller battery (with a similar screen size to current) or a larger overall volume (larger screen and similar/larger battery).
    Then get ready for the 1980s, because carrying a car battery with a brick sized handset is comin' back, in a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIG way!!!!!

    Seriously, the HTC Desire Z had a QWERTY keyboard on a hinge, which took up less than 2mm extra width and about 1½" length. It was frighteningly small, but ridiculously strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    I don't think adding a foldable screen will inherently improve the screen's survivability
    Just the amount of times people drop their phones from bags or while accessing pockets, means it'll be hitting the floor closed, and thus protected. Statistics, y'see!

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    though the materials the foldable screens are made of are presumably pretty shatter resistant - these materials could be implemented with or without a fold if you were simple looking to improve the durability of the screen.
    I've never shattered a screen. It's always been scratches and gouges, which even some fancy Gorilla protectors couldn't guard against.
    But again, I'm more interested in something smaller than my current phone, that opens out an even bigger screen than what's on the market now.

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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Apologies if this is a little rambly, I'm fresh out of hospital where I was denied peace and quiet, sleep and a data connection.

    When they were prevalent, I used to have smartphones with full QWERTY keyboards. These often had some quite impressive mechanisms including slide and tilt for the HTC TYTN II. I abused these phones and the hinge part never posed an issue. The only thing I've managed to break was the screen when I launched the phone at a metal post. The phone started it.

    Products mature around technologies and market demand, see: the smartphone where they all now are the same and will be until something else comes along. The new ones will probably take a while to take off but when they do, you'll wonder why we ever used anything else. VHS was replaced by DVD. You don't see people complaining that VHS tapes never scratched. There will be feedback from change but you learn to manage that as long as it is offset by the advantages. Given everyone and their dog is working on these screens I expect the UI development will be there to ensure there are advantages. Certainly, as someone who multitasks on their phone with 3 apps running on the screen at once, I could do with the extra space. Someone who just uses apps one at a time and these are like facebook where they're well optimised for the phone screen probably won't use it.

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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Does it really matter, so long as it runs Crysis and has fully addressable RGB?

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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Does it really matter, so long as it runs Crysis and has fully addressable RGB?
    I'd prefer it to run Doom. My Windows Phone Orange SPV 500 did. Weirdly it was horrendously unresponsive in the menus (click down and it would take up to 30 seconds to respond) ut incredibly smooth and responsive in game.

    I'm currently waiting for Doom to be "released" for my printer.

    Work also has a load of new printers which run on Android. The "security" is amazing in that they're restricted it so that only IT can add the networked printers to PCs. That took all of 3 minutes to work around (essential given that the IT people had only set it up on a few PCs and had take away all of the remaining printers). I think installing Doom on these printers is an essential operation. Given that this is the place that stored the password to access a critical system in the most obvious .ini file and in plain text, I doubt it'll be 5/9.

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    Re: Motorola patent reveals RAZR-like foldable smartphone

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    I'd prefer it to run Doom. My Windows Phone Orange SPV 500 did.
    Really??!!
    I have an old Orange SPV M5000 knocking around at home. You reckon I could run it on that?
    What would I need? I bought a Doom game from GOG.com recently... no mouse for the PDA, though.

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