We can all agree that 2020 has been a crazy year, probably one of the wildest roller coasters. And even despite the negative impact that the year had on the tech industry, tech firms did not hole back on introducing devices that pretty much personify the events of 2020.
There is no doubt that the new decade is seen as a new gateway to the ultimate future of tech that we only get to see in Sci-fi movies. But 2020 really did give us a glimpse of that with some of these new crazy form factors that will most likely shape the trend of the industry for the next few years.
1. Flip Phones: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Despite the fact that we had already seen this form factor in 2019, it was surprising to see how fast the design moved to the mainstream with Samsung being the fastest to follow up with the Galaxy Z Flip.
Despite the new tech that the phone adopts, it was pretty clear that the Z Flip alongside the Razr was here to pay homage to the great old flip phone (Google is your friend, kids).
|MOTOROLA RAZR||SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FLIP|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 710||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+|
|Network||GSM / HSPA / LTE/3G/4G||GSM / HSPA / LTE/3G/4G|
|Software||Android 9||Android 10|
|Display||6.2 inches pOLED 2142 x 876 pixels||6.7 inches AMOLED 1080 x 2636 pixels|
No headphone jack
No headphone jack
|Price||About KES 180,000||KES 160,000|
2. Microsoft Surface Duo
Despite its dominance in the tech industry, Microsoft is one of the few firms that has really struggled when it came to bringing hardware to life. But 2020 finally became the year for the software giant to break the mould that has lasted since the Lumia era.
In a year that foldable displays have been making headlines, the Microsoft Surface Duo brought in a breath of fresh air in some way. This was mainly because, the device doesn’t really have a foldable display despite many referring to it as such. Instead, the Surface Duo features a huge hinge that divides the display into two. However, the content on the screen makes the display function as one huge tablet when opened.
Unfortunately, the Surface Duo has only launched in international markets so the Kenyan market has;t been lucky enough to witness it first hand.
- Processor: Snapdragon 855
- Display: AMOLED 8.1 inches when open, 5.6 inches when folded (1800 x 2700 pixels).
- Storage/RAM: 128GB/6GB, 256GB/6GB
- Main camera: 11MP, 4K@30/60fps
- Battery: 3577 mAh, 18W charging, USB Type-C
- OS: Android 10
3. LG Wing
As remarkable as these foldable displays are, LG brought in something new and crazy to the picture.
The LG Wing with its swivel design has won users all over the world. The LG Wing flaunts two displays with a 6.8-inch full-HD+ P-OLED FullVision primary display and a 3.9-inch full-HD+ G-OLED secondary screen. When switched to the ‘Swivel Mode’ the primary screen can be turned to a landscape mode, allowing users to multi-task with the smaller secondary screen. For all we know, LG Wing might have kickstarted a new trend of swivelling mechanisms, something that could be carried forward.
- Processor: Snapdragon 765G
- Display: Rotating P-OLED, 6.8 inches (1080 x 2460 pixels),
- Secondary display: G-OLED, 1080 x 1240 pixels, 3.9 inches
- Storage/RAM: 128GB/8GB, 256GB/8GB
- Main camera: 64MP+13MP+12MP
- Battery: 4000 mAh, Wireless charging, USB Type-C
- OS: Android 10
4. OPPO X 2021
The fact that we have this device at the bottom of the list shouldn’t deceive you as it is actually a personal favourite. This is mainly because the concept device made it quite clear about OPPO’s true intention to be part of the future.
The smartphone is built with a continuously variable OLED display that measures as small as 6.7 inches and as large as 7.4 inches. This form factor is the company’s and the industry’s first as everyone looks to add more to the already existing foldable handsets.
According to OPPO, the team behind it is working tirelessly to ensure that the display gives out “zero creases”. This will be made possible through the company’s custom-developed Roll Motor powertrain. This involves two drive motors built into the handset to “generate a constant force output that is used to retract and extend the display.
Obviously, this device will not be cheap at all but it is clear that we will see a few more industry players rip this off.
So, which of these crazy designs was your favourite?