7 actual problems of folding smartphones

Based on materials Android Authority

The popularity of folding smartphones is gradually gaining momentum. Compared with

The first devices introduced in 2019 are seeing clear improvements in the current ones, with stronger foldable screens, reduced display wrinkles, and more robust software.

However, it is clear that foldable smartphonesthere are still some serious problems to be solved. Here are some of the most notable hurdles that foldable devices will have to overcome in the future.

Screen crease

One of the most obvious problems so farcompletely unresolved in folding smartphones is the presence of a crease on the screen. It is especially noticeable on Samsung foldable devices, you can clearly see and feel the crease on both the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.

It should be noted that competing manufacturersfoldable smartphones such as Oppo, Honor and Huawei have tried to solve this problem with varying degrees of success. In particular, in Huawei Mate X2, the crease is barely noticeable. The Oppo Find N has two small creases instead of one big one. However, these reduced creases appear to be due to manufacturers sacrificing water resistance, not an easy compromise.

Needless to say, progress in this regard is obvious. But the ideal future of folding devices still seems to us without any folds at all.

Lack of dust protection

When it comes to protecting foldable phones byIP rating, Samsung is the undisputed leader, in its devices IPX8 protection, which means complete water resistance. No other foldable smartphone is water resistant. However, the "X" in "IPX8" means that foldable devices are not designed to be dustproof at all.

And that's exactly what's reallyneeded in future foldable smartphones. While it's understandable how technically difficult it is to create a dust-tight folding design, given the huge number of moving parts involved in this form factor. For example, modern screen hinges and folds still collect dust and other debris. Therefore, it remains to be hoped that foldable smartphones will first of all get rid of these elements, and then it will already be possible to achieve complete dust tightness.


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Folding screens look and feel cheap

Over the years, folding screens have become moredurable, and several models use ultra-thin glass (UTG, from ultra-thin glass). Samsung even offers S Pen support on the Galaxy Z Fold series, which is sort of a testament to the screen's durability. However, it's undeniable that many foldable screens still look cheap.

The glare screen remains a drawback for somefoldable devices, such as the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Other smartphones, such as the Vivo X Fold Plus, are trying to solve this problem with an anti-reflective coating. But more importantly, foldable screens still look plastic—in fact, they are. So, Samsung even warns owners of its foldable devices not to press the screen with a fingernail, something that you don’t even have to think about with a regular smartphone.

A full-fledged folding glass screen, probablywill be the solution to this problem. For example, Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, is working on an ultra-thin folding glass called Willow Glass. But while there is no certainty, and it is also unclear whether manufacturers will still put a plastic layer on it, as they are now doing with UTG.

Application support

A foldable smartphone cannot provide a decentuser experience without the corresponding software component. Google has done a good job with Android 12L in this regard, and the same can be said about Samsung. However, app support remains a problem for foldable devices.

Some applications still do not supportpopular large-screen foldable devices such as the Galaxy Z Fold series smartphones. The most striking example is Instagram*, which looks like a smartphone-sized window when viewed on the large screen of the Fold. The Instagram* example is particularly disappointing given the sheer amount of resources available to the company that created it.

However, Instagram* is not the only case.Another example is Amazon, the application is also not optimized for the folding screen and looks like a window on a large screen. An Android Authority contributor is complaining about his Wells Fargo banking app on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 that doesn't allow him to use the fingerprint scanner to sign in when using the folding screen. In any case, it's clear that app developers still have a lot to think about. For example, some applications do not work properly when support for multi-window or Samsung's Flex mode is required. It is to be hoped that in Android 12L and future versions of Android, support for foldable devices will be improved.

Performance compromises

Galaxy Z Fold 4 uses the same battery4,400 mAh like its predecessors, plus it doesn't have the 108-megapixel camera of the S22 Ultra or the 10x zoom. And Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 does not have wireless charging, water resistance and a locking hinge. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a larger battery, but owners will have to put up with an outdated 12MP + 12MP camera system.

Some of these compromise solutions are quiteunderstandable. For example, Galaxy Z Fold series smartphones are narrower due to the narrow screen. Many foldable devices are also somewhat thinner when unfolded than regular smartphones. Throw in a complex hinge design, and there really isn't room for big batteries, big camera sensors, and other useful stuff. However, several foldable devices have already adopted a dual-battery design to make the most of the form factor.

The solution to the problem will not come overnight, but inGoing forward, I wish manufacturers would make fewer compromises for the sake of a foldable form factor. It may take new technologies, such as smaller lenses and new battery solutions, to achieve the ability to make a flagship device without reservation. Alternatively, we will have to deal with thicker folding structures. In any case, the current situation is very disappointing, especially in light of how much foldable smartphones cost.


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Another serious problem with which todayfaced by those who want to try a foldable smartphone is affordability. Samsung, Motorola and Huawei are the only major smartphone brands to regularly release foldable devices to the global market. But what if you need a foldable model from Xiaomi, Honor, Oppo or Vivo? Then you're out of luck as these devices are only available in China and you'll have to decide how to mine them. It's a pity, because the availability of worthy alternatives to the same foldable Galaxy devices is a boon for the market and for us, users.

Let's hope the situation changes in 2023year and market players will cope with the challenges of developing foldable phones and the supply chain. What I don't want is another year where Samsung devices are actually the default choice.


Most foldable smartphones are still veryroads. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799. By comparison, a "regular" Galaxy S22 Ultra with much better specs starts at $1,200.

With the Huawei Mate XS 2 even worse, the €1,999 (~$1,984) price seems insane, especially in light of Google's lack of support.

Yes, there are cheaper folding devices,for example, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a more reasonable $999 price tag. But it's still expensive compared to the average price of a regular smartphone and is in line with a typical flagship. And I would like to see foldable smartphones of the middle price level.

However, the big question is how exactlyget average prices for folding models. The most obvious trade-off is the chipset, RAM, storage, IP rating, and battery capacity. Therefore, it makes no sense to be surprised if the alleged Galaxy A Flip is equipped with an Exynos 1280 or Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 SoC, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and is splashproof at best.

Companies can also be expected to move tocheaper folding screens from Chinese players like BOE. In fact, the Honor Magic V already uses the BOE folding panel. Finally, we wouldn't mind if manufacturers used early-generation foldable screens in their first mid-range foldable smartphones, or cut some specs like UTG.

*Meta Platforms, which includes the social networks Facebook and Instagram, has been recognized as an extremist organization and banned in the Russian Federation.