It's been over 25 years since foldable phones first arrived in the shape of the 1996 Motorola StarTAC
. Almost entirely killed off by smartphones, foldable devices fell out of favor toward the end of the 2000s. Once a must-have, this fall from grace came amid the meteoric rise of the likes of Apple's iPhone and various then-current handsets from BlackBerry. However, fast-forward to today, and they're back.
Admittedly, today's foldable smartphones are a long way away from the last generation of such handsets. Better known as flip phones
, models like the original Motorola Razr were wildly successful. Now manufacturers have reimagined them as a modern-day smartphones. For example, the current-generation Razr from Motorola
is a $1,400 5G-equipped device with a 6.2-inch folding OLED display.
So, should you swap your iPhone for a Microsoft Surface Duo 2 or your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for a Galaxy Z Fold or comparatively tiny Galaxy Z Flip? Here are the pros and cons of using foldable smartphones.
Foldable Smartphones Pros
The most significant pros of owning foldable smartphones revolve around its form factor. They reduce in size when folded and are much larger when opened. As a result, they open up to twice the size of many other best-selling smartphones.
At the same time, smaller models like the current-generation Motorola Razr and Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip are half as big as the average iPhone, Google Pixel, or OnePlus handset, opening into a full-sized phone when unfolded. Accordingly, and with many of today's smartphones continuing to grow bigger and bigger, smaller flip-open models like the Galaxy Z Flip are great for tight pockets and small purses.
Meanwhile, larger models grant users a more tablet-like experience on the go. Crucially, though, they do so in a handset that folds down to the size of a typical non-folding smartphone when not in use. Other pros of choosing a foldable phone include:
- Improved multitasking abilities
- Better entertainment options
- Adoption of cutting-edge tech
- Bigger, longer-lasting batteries
That's around a handful of core advantages. But what about the disadvantages?
Foldable Smartphones Cons
Any less than five-or-so cons or disadvantages and today's foldable smartphones can largely be deemed a success. And thankfully, that's pretty much the case. Only two major cons exist, broadly speaking.
Unfortunately, they're far from minor cons. While some of the pros of buying into the current foldable phone trend may seem fairly inconsequential, these two downsides are, for the most part, big ones. Those cons? Cost and complexity.
First and foremost, almost all of today's foldable phones are still wildly expensive. Prices will, of course, come down over time, especially if more and more manufacturers look to revive existing foldables
from the past. But for now, buyers can still expect to pay up to double for a foldable smartphone compared to a non-folding model.
Furthermore, these cutting-edge pieces of technology are extremely complicated. What this means is that they're difficult and therefore expensive to repair when something goes wrong. By their very nature, folding screens are also more fragile, meaning that the likelihood of one or more parts failing is higher than people have come to expect from more traditional smartphones.
Foldable Phone Warranty
Upsie costs just $9.99 per month. In addition, Upsie customers benefit from protection against manufacturer defects, screen faults, mechanical issues, hardware failures, and more. Crucially, Upsie also covers accidental damage caused by drops, cracks, and liquid spills.
Foldable smartphone warranties
are available for handsets from all major manufacturers purchased in the US. With protection in place, owners of handsets including the latest Motorola Razr, Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 have protection. Upsie also offers access to a range of repair and replacement options.
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