The iPhone X has the biggest screen-to-front ratio ever seen in an iPhone, but Apple isn’t done enlarging the display. A report earlier this week said Apple is already working with LG on bendable screen designs. The company is apparently trying to keep its plan secret from Samsung, which is currently the only supplier of foldable OLED screens.
Meanwhile, a patent application surfaced on Thursday, describing the screen technology that would allow Apple to manufacture devices with foldable displays.
Titled Electronic Devices With Displays, US patent application 20170294495 was published on Thursday, with Apple Insider spotting it first. The patent application is rather new, having been filed on August 30th, 2016.
While the title of the patent application is as generic as they get, it’s clear from the abstract that it details foldable devices. Here are the first two sentences:
An electronic device may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded. The device may have a flexible display.
The patent goes on to identify the screen technology that Apple would use in such products, including both OLED and micro-LED screens.
Furthermore, the patent explains the technology could be used to equip other devices with a foldable screen, not just smartphones. The lists include laptops, tablets, wristwatches, and other devices. It so happens that Apple already makes laptops, tablets, wristwatches and other devices in addition to mobile phones. Fancy that!
The patent focuses specifically on technology that would allow a device to bend along a bend axis, without breaking the display, or affecting its functionality. Instead, Apple wants to reinforce the display with enhanced flexibility regions that will allow a display to bend without affecting performance or show bend-related stress lines along the folded area.
What’s interesting about Apple’s patent is that the hinge could be used to fold a smartphone whichever way the user desires. For example, the screen could be folded like a book or laptop with the display’s active area facing the user (fig. 6). But the flexible device could be folded like a wallet too, with the display occupying the outer area of the gadget (fig. 7).
Just because Apple is currently researching this technology, it doesn’t mean we’ll find it in iPhone X successors in the coming years. It may be just one of the various option Apple has to engineer such products. But it seems certain that the only way to increase the iPhone’s display, other than removing the iPhone X’s notch and increasing the phone’s size, is to adopt bendable displays.
He gave The Sun Online exclusive photos of his Blade as well as his thoughts on the retro-styled phone, which you can read later on in this article.
This morning, Binatone confirmed the existence of the Blade and described it as being inspired by phones we “loved nearly 20 years ago”.
The stripped back new phone is designed to be the antidote to gadgets like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S8.
Recent studies have suggested teens are beginning to get fed up with social media and are turning to brick phones to cut the cord and disconnect themselves from Facebook, Instagram and other all-pervasive networks.
The phone is actually made by a British company called Binatone which licenced the design from Motorola.
Simon Rockman claimed he was able to buy a prototype from eBay for just £22.95 – half the eventual street price of £49.99.
He believes it was put up for sale by a company or individual who was sent the prototype for testing.
Rockman worked at Motorola when the original was released in 2003, selling for more than £800.
It was built by a crack team of Motorola engineers who worked overtime in evenings and weekends in a top-secret facility and without managers knowing what they were up to, Rockman said.
Motorola teases new Android version of Razr handset
Various versions of the RAZR went on to sell over 100 million with everyone from Jeremy Clarkson to David Beckham being spotted with one.
Here’s what Rockman, who now runs a telecoms firm called Fuss Free Phones, had to say about the Binatone Blade: “With the basic look of the RAZR, the Blade is more of a tribute act than a faithful follow-up.
“It’s bargain priced and this means it hasn’t got the quality feel of the original.
“The new phone is plastic where the original was metal. It doesn’t shut with the same satisfying snap.
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STRIPPED BACK: The retro features of the Binatone Blade
Phonebook for 100 contacts
Different Ringtones / Vibration
Battery Li-ion > 600 mAh
Micro USB charger input
USB Headset Connection
“Where the 2003 phone had a difficult-to-make laser etched keypad the Binatone Blade has standard keys printed in a 1970s typeface.
“The new phone is a lot lighter at 67g to the Razr’s 96g, which makes it feel cheap.
“The Blade does capture the thinness of the phone, which was designed by Chris Arnholt, who was once described by the RAZR project leader as a ‘quiet, humble genius’.
“The new phone doesn’t have the front screen which was added to later models of the RAZR.
“But what you get instead is a phone which is a tenth of the price of the original, has a music player, two SIM cards so that you can have two phone numbers and much better software.”
Dino Lalvani, Binatone’s chairman said: “It’s a fact of life that most of us now carry two mobile phones.
“Whether it’s a work/home split, a second phone for holidays and festivals or just a temporary device to give to the kids for sleepovers, we just don’t have a single mobile anymore.
“We developed the Blade with this in mind, making sure it was a small, slim and light as possible, without compromising on battery life.
“Our designers really went to town and those of us old enough to remember will definitely see a resemblance to some of the iconic phones we loved nearly 20 years ago, which in consumer electronics is a lifetime.”
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Now another hit device from yesteryear has been reborn, albeit under a new name.
The Binatone Blade is instantly recognisable as the classic Motorola RAZR flip phone – the British company having been licenced by Moto to resurrect the design in 2017.
Fans of the original will find a lot to like here. For starters; there’s no social media apps to suck up your time and your battery life.
Instead, you’re treated to classic applications like “Alarm”, “Stopwatch”, “Calculator” and “Unit conversion”.
Thankfully there are a few games on board – including Snake and Tetris.
The Binatone Blade will browse the internet, doubles up as an MP3 player and supports dual-SIMs, a micro SIM and a mini SIM.
But it’s clear how the company is positioning the gadget – which will launch in the next few months and cost less than £50. It’s a stylish alternative to the Nokia 3310 that came out in March. It’s also positioned firmly as a secondary phone for taking to festivals or on holiday with you.
And there’s evidence to suggest that many teenagers might be willing to swap a smartphone for a “dumb” one.
A recent poll of 5,000 pupils at independent and state schools in England revealed that 63% wouldn’t care if social media didn’t exist.
Even more, 71%, said they take temporary “digital detoxes” to escape the onslaught of updates, notifications and reminders.
The research, conducted for Digital Awareness UK on behalf of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) found that over half of respondents (57%) had received abusive messages online.
“We see them walking around with this tech almost attached to them – but they are now saying they are open to things like digital detoxing to allow them to take a break from technology,” Charlotte Robertson, co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, told MailOnline .
“They are starting to acknowledge that it is impacting their health and wellbeing in ways that they hadn’t recognised before.
“This time last year it wasn’t the case at all, but now they are saying they are using their brick phones at the weekend.
“It’s suddenly just a cool thing to do. It’s about going out and having the security that you can contact someone if you need them, and being able to feel safe and connected but without the pressure to be responsive all the time.”
Thankfully, the likes of the new Nokia 3310 and Binatone Blade will give us a chance to take a breather from all the online noise created by modern smartphones.
And, if you fancy a longer trip down memory lane, here are 10 old-timey phones that got us all buzzing in years gone by.
1/ IBM Simon (1994)
Believe it or not, this was the first smartphone and 50,000 of the chunky model were sold.
It could send emails, had software apps and could link to a fax. But it cost £700, only worked in the US and had an hour’s battery life.
The flip phone is a handset design that just won’t be consigned to mobile history, as Samsung reportedly has such a smartphone in the works with flagship level specifications.
Rumours suggest that the flip phone Samsung is working on but has yet to confirm, has been named the SM-W2018. And according to SamMobile, the flip phone will have a Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip, the same found in US models of its Galaxy S8; that processor will be joined by 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with a 2,300mAh battery pack to keep the handset up and running.
Having a flagship spec in a flip phone is interesting but more intriguing still are the reports that the W2018 will have a pair of 4.2-inch full HD displays, essentially giving the phone a foldable display without the need for trying to develop and fit actual flexible display tech, which Samsung is working on.
Such flip phones tend to be reserved for Chinese markets where they are more popular, but if Samsung does indeed have a flagship level flip phone, there’s a chance that the South Korean electronics company could attempt to spread the flip phone design further afield.
The W2018 is also apparently being tested as SamMobile spotted firmware with the version number W2018ZCU0AQI9, which can be attributed to Samsung and bears the rumoured flip phone’s model number.
Further details of the Samsung flip phone have yet to crop up, but we’d expect it to come with the latest version of Android, and if it does indeed have dual displays, it’s likely to have a rather wallet-emptying price akin to the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.
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Innovative or old-hat; what do you think about a Samsung flagship flip phone? Let us know on Facebook or tweet @TrustedReviews.
Sometimes a new gadget is just really cool-looking. It hits all the right aesthetic notes, boasts a flashy new technology and looks like something you want. But whether it’s something you need—or will be willing to empty out your wallet for—is another matter entirely.
Here’s something that seems to fit this category, for now. Per Bloomberg, on Tuesday Samsung Electronics mobile business president Koh Dong-jin said the company is planning to release a phone with a flexible display next year—though the development process for a consumer-ready product could be hindered by various technical challenges Samsung still needs to resolve.
“As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year,” Koh said. “When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product.”
Samsung first displayed a flexible OLED prototype in 2013 called “Youm,” meaning it’s had a few years to work out issues already. Speculation and rumors about the imminent release of a flexible Samsung phone have been circulating for years.
Video of supposed prototypes circulated online that year. It’s really sort of hard what to make of them, though; the designs ranged from a clunky device with the same shape and hard shell of a cosmetic compact to retractable screens and folded models ready to expand to tablet size.
All of them had clunky form factor; judging from the Bloomberg report the folding version of the phone is the current working idea.
Historically, the flip phone idea has been pretty archaic ever since smartphones transitioned to full touch screens, and recent entries in the genre have mostly (with some exceptions like Samsung’s Leader 8) been seen as nostalgic throwbacks. A flexible touch screen might breathe some new life into the concept, or it could just end up as a gimmick. Sometimes simplicity is better if there’s no actual use scenario where a complicated concept doesn’t improve the user’s experience.
Folding the phone out into a tablet-size device sounds cool in theory, but might end up being a flashy trick with little real utility. The market for tablets has already crashed as current phones have caught up in power and closed the gap on screen size, so luring people back to the phablet concept might be difficult.
Most current smartphones aren’t exactly impregnable to mankind’s ancient enemies: water and pointy rocks. There’s some anecdotal data suggesting old-style flip phones were more durable, but that’s because they were small and cased in plastic, not glass.
Whether or not a flexible display is more or less susceptible to the elements and gravity than a current-gen phone will ultimately be a major factor in most consumers’ decisions.
Some of the Samsung prototypes showcased previously look like they might not be able to fall off a coffee table without sustaining serious damage. One of them has screens on the front and the interior! Moreover, putting the frame of the device in motion runs the risk that a single crack could fissure throughout the device’s entire screen, turning what would be minor damage into another phone into a total loss in the flexible one.
To be fair to Samsung, the underlying concept here is really cool. Said concept also needs to prove it’s more than just a gimmick, which could take a few generations of development. Since rumors have been floating Samsung would release something like this for years, it’s probably better to wait and see before declaring this the next threshold of mobile tech.
Get ready to flip over multiplayer action with Flip Wars – now available!
Wars game is a tense multiplayer action game that will have you
stomping to flip over panels and unwitting opponents—and it launches
today for the Nintendo Switch™ console! To win, flip the most panels to
your color in local battles, online*, or single-player. The more you
flip, the faster you’ll move in a mad dash to nab power ups. Increase
your flip range, turn invincible, and more across 3 modes and 12 arenas!
Compete alone or against up to 3 players to see who’s best at each mode:
flip the most panels before time runs up in Panel Battle, knock out the
most opponents in Time Battle, or outlast your rivals in Life Battle.
All 12 arenas have 4 layouts to choose from, some containing hazards
like panel-flipping buttons, beam cannons, and waves so beautiful they
truly stun competitors. Learn the art of the flip with tutorials and try
your hand at achievements. When you’re ready to compete, jump into an
online* battle or with friends. No matter how you play, it’s time to
think fast and pull off the ultimate color scheme!
Flip over panels—and opponents—until your color dominates the arena
Twelve arenas, each with 4 selectable layouts, some containing
hazards, like beam cannons and waves that stun all competitors
Learn the basics of panel-flipping strategy with tutorials
Play against others via online battles
The Flip Wars game launches today exclusively for the Nintendo
Switch console and can be purchased in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
at a price of $9.99
For more information about Flip Wars, visit http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/flip-wars-switch/.
*Nintendo Account required. Online services and features, including
online gameplay, are free until the paid Nintendo Switch Online Service
launches in 2018.
Galaxy Note 8 leaks have been dominating the headlines of tech blogs for months now. We’ve seen renders, cases, release windows and rumored specs sheets, but it’s easy to forget that the Note 8 likely won’t be the only other phone Samsung releases in the second half of the year. Along with the S8 Active, Samsung is also reportedly working on two smart flip phones, both of which could launch in 2017.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="We highlighted the Samsung flip phone leaks last month, but over the weekend (via Slashleaks), photos of the SM-G9298 powered up and out in the wild appeared online for the very first time.” data-reactid=”19″>We highlighted the Samsung flip phone leaks last month, but over the weekend (via Slashleaks), photos of the SM-G9298 powered up and out in the wild appeared online for the very first time.
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At a glance, the SM-G9298 looks relatively advanced for a flip phone. It features a near bezel-less 4.2-inch display on both the outside and the inside of the top flap, both of which look sharp in the leaked images. The phone could almost pass as a miniature Galaxy S8 from the front (if it didn’t also flip open).
The physical buttons are situated similarly to the buttons on the SM-G1650 we covered in June, though the Home, Back and Recent buttons now surround the control pad while the dedicated buttons for camera and email functionality have vanished altogether. As for specifications, previous leaks suggest that the flip phone will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 2,300mAh battery, 12-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera.
Unfortunately, the phone will almost certainly launch in a few Asian markets, including China, so our Western readers will have to stick with non-flippable phones. The good news is that if a final or near-final version of the phone is floating around in the wild, the unveiling should come soon.
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Asus has a trio of new computers in its ZenBook range that boast lightweight and powerful features, led by the ZenBook Flip S.
The machine measures just 10.9 millimeters thick, making it the world’s thinnest convertible laptop, according to Asus. It weighs 2.4 lbs, but don’t let the size and weight fool you. The ZenBook Flip S UX370 packs the heavyweight punch of Intel’s Corei7-7500U processor and can accommodate up to a terabyte of PCIe SSD storage.
If you’re keeping score—and Asus surely is—it’s about 20 percent thinner than a MacBook and also thinner than the HP Spectre X360. It’s also lighter than both those machines, said Asus Chairman Jonney Shih at a launch event in Taipei on Monday.
Like all convertibles, the screen can be folded all the way around and the laptop used in a tablet configuration. And thanks to a clever hinge design, when the screen is folded back past 135 degrees, the hinge props up the keyboard from the back to angle it more ergonomically for typing.
It has a 4K-resolution (3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels) touchscreen with support for Windows Ink, the recently launched digital ink system for Windows 10 tablets, with an optional Asus Pen. The screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The computer also has a tiny fingerprint sensor for one-touch login via Windows Hello in laptop or tablet mode.
There are a couple of USB-C ports and support for fast charging. Asus says the battery will last for 11.5 hours and can be fast-charged to 60 percent of capacity—about 7 hours—in just 49 minutes.
The ZenBook Flip S will be available later this year at prices starting at $1,099.
Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe
Asus has upgraded its ZenBook 3 laptop with a new model that carries the “Deluxe” name. The UX490 is the thinnest 14-inch laptop on the market at 12.9-millimeters thick, according to Asus.
It weighs 2.4 lbs. and is the first laptop to feature Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, the latest version of the popular impact resistant glass, Asus said.
Like the Flip S, the computer is based on a Core i7 processor and has up to 1 terabyte of PCIe SSD storage. The twin USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 3 so dual 4K monitors can be hooked up but the laptop itself offers just a full HD (1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels) resolution panel.
For gaming level graphics performance, the laptop can be connected to the Asus ROG XG Station 2 external graphics dock that can support cards as large and hot as the NVidia GTX 1080 graphics. Asus said it can support up to 9 hours of battery life and will be available at prices starting from $1,199.
Asus ZenBook Pro
The final new addition to the range is the ZenBook Pro UX550. It’s based around the Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX1050 Ti graphics card.
It’s both thinner and lighter than previous ZenBook Pro machines at 18.9 millimeters and just under 4 lbs and has a spacious 15.6-inch 4K screen.
Asus has found room for a four-speaker audio system, battery life is an impressive 14 hours according to Asus, and it comes with a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello biometric login.
The ZenBook Pro will be available starting at $1,299.
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