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

iPhone 13 Pro series to get a 120Hz OLED display

It’ll be made by Samsung

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The enthusiasts have long asked Apple to include a new display on its iPhone, which has a higher refresh rate. This year, the wish could be granted as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are tipped to have a 120Hz OLED screen.

According to South Korea’s The Elec, it will feature a Radio Frequency Printed Circuit Board (RFPCB) and come with an LTPO OLED display for the 120Hz refresh rate. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini shall get a Flexible Printed Circuit Board (FPCB).

RFPCB boards are more flexible and can be bent to accommodate fresh or even radical designs. Furthermore, The iPhone 13 and Pro are tipped to feature a 6.1-inch screen, whereas the Max will come with a 6.7-inch screen.

While rumors suggest the mini offering will get a 5.4-inch display, multiple reports in the past have hinted that Apple could ditch the series entirely. It’s also said that Samsung will make the new panels with higher refresh rates.

Apple Watch has an always-on display thanks to LTPO technology, which is likely to drizzle down on iPhone 13 Pro series. Apple’s iPad Pro has a 120Hz screen since 2017, and it’s branded as ProMotion. We expect a similar branding approach for the new iPhones as well.

Samsung may provide Apple with as many as 110 million panels for the iPhone models this year. Apple is also working with LG Display, which will supply 50 million units.

Although, Apple is very late to the party as Android phone makers like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and pretty much all of them, have adopted higher refresh rate screens. Even an affordable phone like the Redmi Note 10 Pro

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Singapore

How To: Low-light photography, videography on an iPhone

Take out your lightsabers and record Star Wars-themed content!

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iPhone

Gone are the days where our smartphones struggle from shooting when there’s a lack of proper lighting. Nowadays, most smartphones — flagships specifically — can record amazing videos and stunning photos in low-light conditions.

For instance, FightSaber Singapore, a premier Lucasfilm-recognised lightsaber performance organization recorded a Star-Wars themed video using only the iPhone 12 Pro Max. FightSaber Singapore used lightsabers from SaberMach, Singapore’s first and only professional combat saber company, to highlight NeoPixel blades that astonishingly lit up the room.

 

Nonetheless, taking gorgeous stills and videos in low-light situations is now possible using just your smartphone. Fret not, you don’t need to be a pro; you just need to follow simple tricks.

Tips and tricks

First, make sure to turn on High-Efficiency Image File Format before you start shooting. Next, adjust HDR (high dynamic range) on your camera settings which will help you capture vibrant stills in high-contrast situations. If you plan on capturing light streaks, set your settings to 4K with 24 FPS. For smooth movements, adjust it to 4K with 60 FPS.

When you start shooting, lock the exposure and maintain auto-focus. Tap the spot on your screen that you want to adjust. On iPhone, you can also press and hold on the screen until you see AE/AF lock to keep the focus and exposure in the same spot.

Moreover, you can create a quick whip zoom effect while recording by tapping on the individual lenses. No need for post-production!

On a non-technical tip, don’t forget about varying your camera angles. Low-angle shots tend to add drama while high-angle shots provide an overview of the scene.


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News

Apple could launch its first foldable in 2023

Apple’s a little late to the party?

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Folding phones have been around for quite some time, but only a few companies like Samsung and Huawei have led the mainstream trend. However, this could soon change with Apple launching its folding offering soon, and if reports are to be believed, it could be as early as 2023.

According to trusted source  Ming-Chi Kuo, the first folding iPhone is most likely to launch in 2023. The information is based on an “industry survey” and reveals that Apple’s shipment of its foldable phones will reach 15 to 20 million units.

It could sport an 8-inch Quad HD+ OLED display that can fold. Kuo believes that the upcoming ‌iPhone‌ will adopt a silver nanowire touch solution for the device’s display, which will create a “long-term competitive advantage” for Apple in the foldable device market.

The report says, “At present, the product position of foldable smartphones is mainly to integrate the smartphone and tablet. But we believe that the foldable smartphone is only one of the applications of the foldable design. We predict that foldable devices will blur the product segmentations between smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future.”

Kuo is also predicting that the folding device will blur lines between traditional smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future. Given Apple’s “cross-product ecosystems and hardware design advantages,” he expects Cupertino to emerge as the “biggest winner in the new foldable device trend.”

Keep in mind, the predicted analysis is two to three years down the line. Within this time frame, many aspects of the future phone could change, and these reports should be taken with a pinch of salt.

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