My Issue With Foldables Phones

Someone recently wrote quote: "the future of mobile phones is charmingly awful". And boy, how they were right. At least if you go by the title.

Foldable phones suck, and it's not because of their high retail prices. Those will only get down with time. Nor has it to do with the fact that most software hasn't been optimized for bigger screen sizes. More on this a little later. In fact, it's not because of the weird aspect ratio when you're watching your videos.

There's no shortage of pundits on twitter and on youtube who can't seem to exhaust all the good things about going back to foldable phones. After all, we humans are used to the intuitive user experience (UX) of foldables. Our wallets are foldable, our books are foldables (well, kinda), laptops are foldable. Thusly, a foldable phone would feel natural; it just makes "sense". Right?

Right, because we all like those fat wallets in our pockets, and the creases they add to our documents and paper bills. Because, paper back books have only two pages.

Comparing foldable phones to either of the above mentiobs is just an attempt at apples and oranges comparison. Trying to fish for similarity where things don't exactly fit.

Yes, the old flip phones, which were also foldables, were cool. But they were cool for a different reason. Probably the same reason we find laptops to be intuitive. When you unfold a laptop, or the classic flip phones with a physical keyboard, one half of the fold, has a specific function. And the other has another.

There's a clear separation of concerns, and zero room for confusion. Exactly why a foldable tablet that would try to double as a laptop would fall flat. Unless of course one part of the screen would simulate a physical keyboard. Perhaps using haptic feedback technology. Well, we all know that will take some time to happen.

Now, let's consider the cringe-worthy crease that soon that later is bound to appear right across where he hinge is. At least in a book you read one side of the opened book (one page) at a time. On these fancy foldable smartphones you've got to view a video across both sides; with an annoying creasing right at the middle.

Some people say they can live with that. For the universe sake, how? With a crease that's likely to deteriorate into a more cringe-some fissure-like dark pixels?

Remember those canvas maps people used to carry before GPS and google maps were a thing. At least those were fun, even if the crease lines were not.

Probably the most accurate statement I have heard about foldables phones is this 👇🏻

"This isn't a solution looking for a problem, but an evolution looking for an audience" ~ Quinn, from Snazzy Labs