As those of you who have been following us for a long time know, between apples and apples, I eat some Android device on our sister website ActualidadGadget. Over the past few years I have tried many foldables, but I was never tempted to go about my daily life with a foldable device, until the “affordable” Motorola Razr 40 came into my hands, and I decided to give the “people’s foldable” a try.
After 30 days of using a foldable phone, I now know why Apple doesn’t make them. Using one of these devices has many attractions, but it has several negative points that would never pass the standards that Apple has set for the user experience that its devices provide.
Normally I divide these types of articles into different sections, but this time everything revolves around the concept of experience that Apple wants to provide its users, and why at this time it is impossible to provide an “Apple experience” with a foldable device. That is why we are going to do all the text right away, but don’t worry, we will liven it up with a few photographs so you don’t get bored.
Let’s start with the sense of perceived quality. When you have an iPhone in your hands, whether it is made of Titanium or not, it only takes a few seconds to feel the care with which it has been manufactured. We talk about symmetry, we talk about proportion, we talk about mathematics, none of this is left to chance, everything has a master formula behind it. This is something that does not happen with folding ones, and I have tried many. A foldable phone is made under one premise, it must be foldable. Everything else is accessory.
The first insurmountable obstacle is the folding itself. I have been talking for years about why the MacBook is the only laptop that, year after year, can still be opened with one hand. Well, we are going to transfer this to the mobile phone, not because we have to open it with one hand or two, but because opening it normally is a nonsense of forces, proportions and discomforts that will depend on the temperature, the care with which they have manufactured the hinge , or the resistance that the manufacturer wanted to give to it, because taking into account that said hinge protects the screen, it cannot be too soft or too hard.
We continue with the screen, since we have opened that melon. Apple has been mentioning for years how it invests time, money and effort in assembling the most resistant and brightest screens on the market, That is something that takes a back seat in a folding phone. The necessary manufacturing of the folding panel has two insurmountable weak points: No resistance to scratches and tendency to wrinkle.
We start with the scratches. As you well know, these types of screens come with a protective film as a courtesy. This type of film has problems with the oleophobic coating, so The screen tends to get extremely dirty when we talk about simple daily use. In addition to the above, the touch experience reports directly to those smartphones with a plastic panel, as if we had gone back a decade, well, something more…
The resistance is zero, not only to shocks, an extreme that we have not been able to or wanted to verify with a phone that has been selflessly given to us, but to scratches. The screen can be scratched with your fingernail, you just have to stop by any MediaMarkt on duty and pass by the stand where the folding phones are displayed, they look like Scar’s face in the Lion King, a poem. The one I have tried is not spared either, it is something I already knew. However, and concluding with this matter, it is clear that I at least I am not willing to live with that permanent anxiety of not scratching the device with simple daily use.
We continue with the screen, where it once seems that the proportions do not matter at all, and that they have focused on giving you more unfolded, less folded. This does not follow any type of logic, These folding tablets aim to be tablets without reaching their heights, and their layout means that they often have exaggeratedly panoramic or exaggeratedly square proportions that make it impossible to consume multimedia content comfortably. In the case at hand, with the Motorola Razr 40, we have an ultra-panoramic panel that wastes almost half a screen in the side bars when you put a full-screen video. A similar case happens with other larger foldings with different mechanisms.
I am clear that an iPad user is not going to complain much in this regard either, The proportions of the iPad do not stand out for being the best for consuming multimedia content either, however, they at least have the advantage of adapting more to the needs of those who need to interact with the screen or create content, something that these folding devices do not achieve.
The big question is, are these foldables really so practical? Why doesn’t Samsung bring the Galaxy Note back to life in the form of a foldable device? For the same reason that Apple has not decided to manufacture devices of this type, because it does not offer the expected quality, because it is still an invention for “restless asses” that does not offer any type of real advantage to the user beyond being able to show off with the screen display.
And the task of deployment is for me the last obstacle to overcome. While Apple invests in FaceID with the sole objective of speeding up the unlocking process so that you can interact with your iPhone as soon as possible, the folding phone adds a previous step, that of unfolding it, to be able to use it with total comfort. I already know that there are folding devices with quite acceptable main screens, but those are the same ones that mostly offer, unfolded, proportions that do not represent any advantage for consuming multimedia content, so… why would I want a folding device?
These devices are going to end up being diluted, as happened in their day with televisions with 3D technology (or at least that is my bet). They are attractive devices, comfortable to carry in your pocket, but In almost no way do they offer a better user experience. And technology is there to improve our lives, not make it worse.