Smartphones

All the foldable phones and how much you have to flex to get each one

A lot of $$$, basically

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We’re entering another technological era: The time of foldable smartphones. And no, I’m not talking about flip phones, no matter how cool those sound.

If you’re as confused as I am, this is all you need to know: For years, tech folks have been obsessed with foldable phones — with Samsung showing off a concept as early as 2014 — but it’s never really happened until this year.

All the bendy innovation comes at a price, though, that brings the famously expensive iPhone XS Max to shame. But, since price has never stopped anyone from liking weird stuff, I’ve rounded up all the foldable phones and added how much you’ll have to shell out to get one.

Royole FlexPai 

Talk about beating the big tech companies to the punch, Royole launched the first-ever commercially available folding smartphone in China.

At this year’s CES, Royole showcased a folding phone that features a bendable display. The FlexPai wasn’t the only interesting flexible screen display application we saw from Royole.

Not really surprised, though. This is the same company marketing a screen-fitted top hat for US$ 900 — which, TBH, is sort of worth it. 😂

Cost: US$ 1,200 or just US$ 250 shy of that iPhone XS Max. If you think that’s expensive, oh, you have no idea. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold

When Samsung finally unveiled its foldable phone at this year’s MWC, it was a 7.3-inch tablet that turns into a 4.3-inch phone by folding inward.

It has a total of six cameras on three different areas (there are so many phone sides now 😅).

Cost: US$ 1,980 or just about two reasonably priced 2018 smartphone flagships, because why get one phone when you can get yourself one that bends. 🤯

READ MORE: The Samsung Galaxy Fold is official!

Huawei Mate X

Huawei’s entry into the foldable phone race folds outward and utilizes a bar on the back side for triple-camera Leica shooters.

It’s an 8-inch tablet that turns into a phone with a 6.6-inch front screen and a 6.38-inch back screen.

Cost: EUR 2,299 or around US$ 2,600 which is exactly the amount of money I do not have for a smartphone. Fun fact, the same price tag will get you two and a half Louis Vuitton Speedy Monogram bags or around 24 bottles of Moet.

READ MORE: Huawei Mate X launches as world’s fastest foldable 5G phone

OPPO foldable prototype 

Not to be outdone and in true “if you can do it, we can do it, too!” fashion, OPPO also showed off a foldable device which looks a whole lot like Huawei’s Mate X.

Cost: Not coming to market… yet. OPPO admits that the cost of this phone is way too much for such a small market — finally, real talk from a multi-billion yuan company. 😅

READ MORE: OPPO showcases own foldable phone, but won’t sell it yet

TCL’s DragonHinge phones

Not to be outdone, TCL showcased a folding phone, well, sort of.

TCL unveiled the DragonHinge, which is a mechanism that will allow for even more foldable phones.

Cost: Phones with DragonHinge come with a 2020 shipping date so you can at least hold on to your cash until then.

READ MORE: TCL’s DragonHinge enables mobile devices to go foldable

LG V50 ThinQ with a case which is also technically something that folds 

LG hasn’t jumped on the foldable screen bandwagon but instead offers a foldable phone option with their Dual Screen case. It’s literally an accessory that turns your single-screened V50 into a foldable phone with double screens — perfect for those who can’t commit to these flexy phones.

Cost: No pricing yet, but surely a phone and a phone case would cost less than 24 bottles of Moet?

READ MORE: V50 ThinQ is LG’s first 5G smartphone, still a multimedia powerhouse

ZTE Nubia Alpha Wearable, basically a phone bent around your wrist

So sure, these phones fold, but what if your flex is more of a bend than a fold? Worry not, dear reader, 2019 tech has you covered.

ZTE’s Nubia Alpha wearable is sort of a smartwatch but is also almost a smartphone. It can house a 4G eSIM which means you can use it to call and text without pairing it to a phone!

Cost: EUR 549 for the basic 4G eSIM version, but there’s a luxxe 18-karat gold-coated version that retails for EUR 649.

READ MORE: ZTE Nubia’s Alpha wearable is basically a phone on your wrist

News

Canalys: vivo rises to 4th in global smartphone shipments

First time since the company was established

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vivo

Market analyst firm Canalys reports that vivo ranked fourth in global smartphone shipments for the first time in history since the company was established in 2009.

With a market share of 10 percent, the Chinese smartphone brand placed fourth behind Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi in the third quarter of 2021.

Previous quarterly numbers from Canalys indicated that vivo remained among the top five in global smartphone shipments in the past four quarters.The company also topped China’s smartphone market in the second quarter of 2021, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, maintaining strong growth momentum.

Championing a “local mindset” and putting value to its understanding of local culture and management, vivo continues to expand to more markets worldwide and accelerate its globalization.

As of now, vivo has branched out its sales network across more than 50 countries and regions, and is loved by more than 400 million users worldwide.

In the Philippines alone, vivo took over as the top smartphone vendor with a 21 percent market share during the second quarter of 2020, an impressive rise of 18 percentage points from the previous year, also per a Canalys report.

It has maintained a strong presence in the country with the introduction of top-of-the-line yet affordable smartphones. As of the second quarter of 2021, vivo holds an 18.2 percent market share.

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News

OPPO is developing its own chipsets

Following Google’s footsteps

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Are the golden days of Snapdragon ending? A few smartphone makers have dedicated considerable resources to creating their own in-house chips. Doing so will considerably reduce their reliance on the current dominators of the semiconductor industry like Qualcomm and MediaTek. Much like its contemporaries, OPPO is reportedly developing its own flagship processors.

First reported by Nikkei, OPPO is planning to release its first chipsets sometime in 2023 or 2024. The chips will come with the brand’s flagship devices. They will rely on TSMC’s advanced 3nm process.

Naturally, the report doesn’t indicate which smartphones will eventually come with the chipsets. However, a promised flagship does indicate good things to come.

The report coincidentally follows the recent Google Pixel 6 launch. Much like what OPPO is promising, the Pixel 6 sports Google’s first in-house chipset called the Tensor. Apple’s M1 chipset lineup is also an attempt to reduce the brand’s reliance on other component makers.

When Google announced the Tensor, Qualcomm publicly stated that the efforts towards in-house chipsets won’t hamper its dominance in the industry. The company has other clients after all. Then again, with more companies following Google, the top chipset maker might finally feel the crunch. OPPO is still one of the world’s top smartphone brands, especially after the rapid descent of Huawei.

SEE ALSO: OPPO set to launch its first tablet next year

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Smartphones

Galaxy Z Flip3 Bespoke Edition lets you customize your phone’s colors

Mix and match

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Despite the availability of several devices in the market, foldables are still as niche as they come. Not everyone can get behind the new form factor yet. However, there is no doubt that owning a foldable phone helps users stand out from the crowd. Samsung, despite being one of the leaders of the market already, has launched a new way to further express creativity through its foldables. The new Galaxy Z Flip3 Bespoke Edition allows users to customize how their foldables will look like.

With the Bespoke Studio, users can mix and match panels for their phones with different colors including blue, yellow, pink, white, and black. Further, users can customize their phone’s frame with either black or silver. They can also preview their custom colors through Samsung’s website.

Of course, a mind can sometimes be fickle. As such, Samsung is also offering Bespoke Upgrade Care which allows owners to change their panels and colors when they want a change for a varying service fee. Ordered editions will also come in packaging and themes that correspond to the user’s selected colors.

The Galaxy Z Flip3 Bespoke Edition will start at US$ 1099.99 and will come with 12 months of Samsung Care+ protection. If ordered through Samsung.com, users can also avail up to US$ 600 of trade-in credit towards the special foldable phone.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s customizable BESPOKE refrigerator arrives in the US

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