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

Deals

Smart postpaid plans for Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Starts at PhP 900 with one-time fee of PhP 18,600 for Plan S

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is available in the Philippines right now, but those waiting for the device to come on carrier plans are out of luck until now.  Smart is now offering the budget flagship device on its Signature Plans, starting at PhP 999 per month.

Like other devices on Signature Plans, the device is available on four plan tiers — S, M, L, and XL. Across all plan tiers, there are two payment options for the device. These payment options differ by the amount of one-time cashout and the monthly fee.

Signature Plan S

Payment Option 1 Payment Option 2
Amount of Data 5GB
Texts Unlimited to all networks
Calls Unlimited to Smart and Sun, 100 mins to other networks
One-time cashout PhP 18,600 N/A
Monthly fee PhP 999 N/A

Signature Plan M

Payment Option 1 Payment Option 2
Amount of Data 10GB
Texts Unlimited to all networks
Calls Unlimited to Smart and Sun, 100 mins to other networks
One-time cashout PhP 15,000 PhP 5,820
Monthly fee PhP 1,499 PhP 1,899

Signature Plan L

Payment Option 1 Payment Option 2
Amount of Data 15GB
Texts Unlimited to all networks
Calls Unlimited to Smart and Sun, 150 mins to other networks
One-time cashout PhP 15,000 PhP 4,510
Monthly fee PhP 1,999 PhP 2,299

Signature Plan XL

Payment Option 1 Payment Option 2
Amount of Data 30GB
Texts Unlimited to all networks
Calls Unlimited to Smart and Sun, 300 mins to other networks
One-time cashout PhP 4,100 PhP 1,810
Monthly fee PhP 2,999 PhP 3,099

Plan renewals and new applications can be done via Smart’s online store. Select Smart physical stores are also open to serve customers and subscribers alike. Smart postpaid subscribers will get special discount rates on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE upon renewal of their plan.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review

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News

Nokia is likely working on an actual flagship

Is this the Nokia 10?

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Since its resurrection from the dustbins of history, Nokia championed the banners for the midrange and budget segments. The company’s recent lineup includes both nostalgia jerkers and actual competitors. Of course, Nokia still lacks significant presence in the flagship segment. According to an internal document, Nokia is likely working on an actual flagship.

Reported by Nokia-centric outlet Nokiamob.net, the internal document confirms Nokia’s continued drive to become one of the world’s top smartphone companies in three to five years. To do so, the company is possibly planning for a Nokia 10 launch in the future.

However, if you’re hoping for more details about the upcoming device, the document does not explicitly reveal the new phone. Instead, it directly prohibits any rumors from surfacing about the Nokia 10. According to the leaker, the prohibitive clause itself confirms the existence of the smartphone without alluding to it directly.

Going by the company’s usual naming standards, the Nokia 10 will likely follow the Nokia 9, potentially hinting at an upcoming upgrade for the lineup. The company’s five-year goal further adds credence to the possibility.

Besides the Nokia 10, the document also emphasizes Nokia’s drive to strengthen support for Google and its services. With more Google-centric phones, Nokia hopes to “attract new users and increase [their] product value for existing users.”

Finally, the document affirms Nokia’s focus on several key markets going forward: India, China, Russia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, Mexico, and the United States. Though the company will certainly retain presence over other markets, expect more news to trickle from those territories first.

SEE ALSO: Nokia is building a 4G network on the Moon

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Smartphones

Samsung acquires license to supply phone screens to Huawei

One off Huawei’s list

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Earlier this month, Huawei unveiled its last hurrah to the current Kirin generation, the Mate 40 series. Unfortunately, with the current state of geopolitics, the Chinese company can no longer access any America-dependent components it needs for devices. With the ban firmly in place, Huawei’s devices are in jeopardy of fading into oblivion. That said, foreign companies are also struggling to obtain licenses to keep Huawei as a valued client. Recently, Samsung has reportedly acquired such a license to supply phone screens for Huawei.

According to Reuters, Samsung Display’s bid for a license came through successfully, allowing the South Korean company to ship components to the Chinese company. The license potentially fills Huawei’s gaps in the supply chain.

In general, Huawei is with good company. Samsung Display currently ships screens to Samsung’s devices and Apple’s iPhones. Unfortunately, the report did not confirm which types of screens will fall under the list of permissible components for Huawei. Besides standard screens, the company also makes benchmark-topping OLED screens for smartphones.

Though Samsung already has the go-ahead, other companies have also applied for similar licenses from the US government. However, only a handful of companies have successfully received their licenses. With only a few trickling through, Huawei is still in a rough spot, lacking essential components for future smartphones and other devices.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 40 Pro Unboxing and Review: Last of its Kind

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