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

Xiaomi X Leica partner for ‘Imagery Technology’

Something coming in July

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Xiaomi just dropped a huge bomb on their social media channels announcing a partnership with renowned camera maker Leica.

In the post, Xiaomi said it is ” a global strategic partnership in mobile imaging.”

“Combining the legendary image and innovative technology, let’s look forward to a new era of mobile photography in July,” the post added.

In their official blog, Xiaomi and Leica noted that this is a long-term partnership. It also says the two companies “share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging.” They promise to explore more in mobile imaging “through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.”

There isn’t much to go on at this point but this move is monumental considering what the partnership did for Huawei years back. Xiaomi and its fans have plenty of reason to be excited. The partnership could catapult Xiaomi to an even more premium territory and put it in the stratosphere to compete against Apple and Samsung overall.

Huawei and Leica

Huawei and Leica officially announced their partnership in 2016. The first result of that partnership are the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus. Huawei’s standing as a premiere smartphone camera skyrocketed with the Huawei P20 and P30 series. The partnership went on with the P40 and P50 series but it appears it has indeed come to an end.

Gizmochina reported in 2021 that the Huawei and Leica partnership will reach its conclusion with the P50 series.

Huawei official statement

Below is Huawei’s official statement sent to GadgetMatch on May 23, 4:16PM (GMT+8)

Huawei Consumer Business Group and Leica Camera AG have worked intensively together since 2015. The cooperation between the two companies ended on March 31 of 2022. 

 The two companies highly appreciate the partnership. The cooperation was based on each company’s excellent technical know-how and mutual trust resulting in ground-breaking innovations in the field of smartphone photography. 

Together, Huawei and Leica Camera have created new imaging standards and technical capabilities, bringing convenient and high-quality experiences to consumers worldwide, through which they have recorded the most memorable moments of their lives. 

Huawei is grateful to its global consumers for their support and will continue providing them with the ultimate in mobile photography experiences through its continued pursuit of innovation.

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News

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

And Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1

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The second half of this year’s smartphones are coming. Naturally, each smartphone needs a capable processor to make itself more special among today’s crop of devices. Signaling the start of the next slate of devices, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

A lot of current lineups have already launched for the year. However, we’re still missing some of the more premium offerings today. The new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will power the next generation for the year. And, according to Qualcomm, the chipset will deliver 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance. It will also use 15 percent less power, squeezing out an extra hour of usage.

The chipset will focus more on performance. Even if the smartphone heats up from all the gaming, the processor can keep up with delivering sustained performance.

Though the list of confirmed devices is still a bit sparse today, companies have already promised to use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. These include Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. As expected, gaming brands are also signing up like ASUS’s Republic of Gamers and Black Shark.

Ironically, that’s not even the gaming processor, according to Qualcomm. The company also released the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1, which reportedly touts a 20 percent boost to GPU performance. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi are already making phones with the chipset.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 beats Apple A15 Bionic in early tests

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Philippines

HUAWEI Mate Xs 2, new smartwatches coming soon

Six new flagship products including smartwatches

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Mate Xs 2

HUAWEI’s brand new flagship foldable smartphone, the Mate Xs 2 headlines six new product releases from the tech company.

The Mate Xs 2 joins the WATCH GT 3 Pro, WATCH D, Watch Fit 2, S-TAG, and Band 7 in HUAWEI’s latest lineup of next-generation products for smart and healthy living.

Perfection expanded

Mate Xs 2

Weighting just 255 grams and just 5.4mm thin, the Mate Xs 2 is one of the “flattest and lightest” foldable smartphones in the market.

It comes with the first 3D Fiberglass Design which complements its Falcon Wing Design.

Running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G processor, the phone has a 7.8-inch True-Chroma foldable (2480 x 2200) display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The centerpiece of its triple camera on the rear is a 50 MP True-Chroma main camera, and the phone supports more than 20 capturing and video shooting functions.

Mate Xs 2

Among its other specs and features are:

  • 8GB memory + 512GB storage
  • 4,500mAh Silicon-based Anode battery
  • 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge
  • Anti-Reflective Nano Optical layer
  • Floating Window Swipe Gestures

Next-generation cutting-edge products

In addition to the Mate Xs 2, HUAWEI also unveiled its latest smartwatches and health monitors and sensors.

The WATCH GT 3 Pro, WATCH D, Watch Fit 2, S-TAG, and Band 7 all come with the latest features to elevate users’ fitness and workout experiences, while being complemented by the HUAWEI Health App.

Highlights for each new product are as follows:

WATCH GT 3 Pro

Watch GT 3 Pro

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) analysis
  • Arterial stiffness detection and TruSeen
  • Accurate heart health measurement and blood oxygen monitoring
  • Accurate GPS with built-in dual-band five-system GNSS
  • Sport mode and free-diving mode (up to 30 meters deep)
  • Over 100 workout modes
  • AI Running Coach

WATCH D

  • The first wrist-type blood pressure monitoring device
  • Equipped with ECG high-performance sensor

WATCH Fit 2

  • Tap to Transfer feature
  • Built-in speaker in addition to microphone for calls on the go
  • 97 workout modes

S-TAG: Multi-function dynamic motion sensor

  • Built-in 9-axis high-precision sensors to monitor running posture
  • Utilizes users’ foot and waist motion data based on 13 types of running posture data
  • Designed with prior research conducted alongside China Institute of Sports Science

Band 7: Thinnest fitness tracker

  • Comes with a range of watch faces for customization, including AOD Watch Faces Mode and Moon Phase Watch Face Mode
  • Over 4,000 themes
  • HUAWEI TruSeen 4.0 for accurate heart rate tracking

Pricing and availability

Both the WATCH GT 3 Pro and WATCH FIT 2 are already available for pre-orders in the Philippines. Click here for more details.

Meanwhile, the official rollouts for the Mate Xs 2 and other products in the Philippines and Singapore will be announced in the future.

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