It’s hard to believe that foldable phones are now becoming a regular topic on TAS, but here we are.
At the just-concluded MWC 2019, we saw two approaches to a foldable phone design – one that bends leaving the screen on the outside like the Huawei Mate X, and another that bends with the screen on the inside ala Samsung Galaxy Fold.
As much as the former appears to be the darling of many pundits across the tech industry, Samsung has been quick to defend its approach of an in-ward folding screen, saying that this design minimizes scratches on the screen due to minimal contact with the outside world when not in use or rather in one’s pocket, for instance.
The company further notes that since it figured out Galaxy Fold buyers may feel the need of slapping a case on the phone, having the screen on the outside would make it impossible. And indeed, phone case companies are already giving us a taste of what the Fold will look like when in a case.
Spigen, one of the top names when it comes to smartphone cases, is already sharing details of three mock-ups depicting the Galaxy Fold cases – Tough Armor, Ultra Hybrid, and Thin Fit cases. The three share the same design pattern featuring front covers that protect the top and bottom bezels of the smaller 4.6-inch screen and cutouts for the tri-lens main camera.
What still looks obscure is how case makers are going about the hinge. In fact, it will be quite interesting to see how this goes down since, as noted earlier, smartphone vendors have different approaches to the design of the bendable phones. As for Spigen and the Galaxy Fold, the take seems to be quite simplistic, where the case basically wraps around the outside of the phone.
The main differences begin popping up when it comes to the degree of protection they offer, although pricing should still be about $20 for all three. What remains to be seen is how accessory makers will deal with Galaxy Fold screen protectors.
Even though Spigen’s mock-ups are based on the Galaxy Fold measurements provided by Samsung, another case maker, Zagg, says it’s waiting to get hands on the phone before they finalize the already on-going development process. Thus, they don’t have ready mock-ups for showing off like Spigen.
With the Galaxy Fold expected in the U.S. on April 26, many case makers, including Spigen, also have a target of April release date, which gives them only a few weeks from now.