Folding Screens: Is It Mature or Have Some Problem?

Is Folding Screen Mature

Since being introduced in the early 2000s, foldable screen technology has come a long way. These flexible display devices promise a seamless combination of portability and expansive viewing experiences. And as the folding screen evolves and reinvents itself, the once sci-fi-like concept becomes more mainstream.

However, the question remains: is folding screen technology mature now? With more and more tech brands joining this smartphone trend, are the problems that plagued early folding phone designs still present? This blog will explore the truth behind foldable phones, their history, the mechanisms that allow them to fold, and which devices are worth your money.

Introducing the emergence and development of folding screens

The emergence and development of folding screens represent a captivating journey defined by technological revolutions and a relentless pursuit of innovation. The evolution of foldable-screen phones can be briefly explained as follows.

The Foundation For Folding Screens

The concept of folding screens is not entirely novel. It has its roots in the early ambitions of tech giants such as Samsung to create flexible and versatile displays. However, the revolutionary shift of physically manifesting this concept only gained momentum in the last decade. The catalyst for this shift was the introduction of flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays.

OLED technology fundamentally differs from traditional LCD (liquid crystal display)technology. OLED uses organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied. This unique characteristic allows OLED displays to be flexible, paving the way for the creation of foldable screens. The organic compounds in OLEDs can be deposited on various substrates, including plastic, which is crucial for the flexibility needed for folding displays.

The Birth Of The First Foldable Phone

Samsung, known for making innovative first steps in the realm of smartphone technology, took the lead in bringing the concept of foldable screens to reality. In 2019, the company unveiled its groundbreaking Galaxy Fold, marking a milestone in the smartphone industry. The Galaxy Fold was not merely a smartphone but a convergence of cutting-edge technology and futuristic design.


The Galaxy Fold featured a foldable 7.3-inch AMOLED display that could be seamlessly folded. Thus, folding screen technology gave users the power to transform their device from a compact phone to an expansive tablet-like experience. This innovation sparked immense excitement and interest among mainstream consumers, tech enthusiasts, and industry professionals.

The Growth Of The Popularity Of Foldable Phones

The impact of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was felt industry-wide, prompting other major tech giants to enter the foldable smartphone arena. Competing tech companies began investing heavily in research and development to create their iterations of foldable devices. This era saw a surge in patents related to foldable screen technology. Ultimately, a flurry of announcements invaded the media as companies sought to outdo each other in the race to deliver the next groundbreaking folding screen device.

The emergence of flexible OLED displays and the introduction of the Galaxy Fold thus marked a turning point in the evolution of smartphones. The journey from a concept to a tangible, marketable product was challenging. But it paved the way for a new era of innovation, transforming the mobile technology landscape. The narrative of folding screens continues to unfold (pun intended), leaving an indelible mark on the history of technological progress.

Why can foldable screens be folded?

Understanding the mechanics behind folding screens requires understanding the composition of the OLED display. OLEDs consist of organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied. This property is crucial as it allows vibrant and self-reliant displays, as each pixel can emit its own light without the need for a separate backlight like LCDs.

Traditionally, a rigid glass is used as a substrate for smartphone displays. However, a plastic substrate is used in flexible OLEDs to allow for bending without compromising the integrity of these organic layers. This flexibility results from the materials used in the display, making it possible to fold the screen without causing damage.

While the OLED display is a crucial component, the overall design of foldable devices incorporates many other elements. Innovative hinge mechanisms play a significant role in ensuring the durability and smooth operation of folding screens. Manufacturers strive to meticulously design these hinges to withstand the physical stress of repeated folding and unfolding your device. Modern foldable phones have little to no gap between the hinges, marking huge leaps in folding screen design since the first device was released in 2019

Explain the current problems of folding screens.

While foldable screens represent a significant technological leap, they are not without their challenges. Several issues persist even with current folding screens that hinder the widespread use of foldable smartphones.

Problems Folding Screens

Durability Concerns

By nature, foldable phones are subject to constant bending and unfolding. This constant physical stress makes folding screens susceptible to wear and tear, particularly at the fold point. This risk raises concerns about the long-term durability of foldable screens, potentially affecting their performance.

Screen Crease

One of the most noticeable issues with foldable screens is the presence of a visible crease at the fold point. This crease is an inevitable result of the folding mechanism and can be distracting when trying to use your device.

Weight and Thickness

Foldable phones tend to be heavier and thicker compared to their non-foldable counterparts. This additional bulk is primarily due to the unique structure of a folding screen phone, such as complex hinge mechanisms and multiple layers in the display. Finding a delicate balance between portability and functionality is a challenge that many folding screen manufacturers face.


Due to the innovative technology and materials used in producing foldable smartphones, the devices tend to have higher manufacturing costs, making them more expensive than traditional devices. Intricate engineering and cutting-edge technology are required to create a folding screen worth your time. Inevitably, this forces manufacturers to put a premium price tag on their devices. However, as the technology matures and production processes become more streamlined, the prices of foldable smartphones will decrease gradually, making them more accessible to a broader consumer base.

App Compatibility

Foldable screens present a unique challenge for app developers. Many existing applications are not optimized for the unique display configurations of a folding screen. Thus, you must go through a steep learning curve to transition seamlessly between folded and unfolded states to suit different app layouts. While developers are encouraged to adapt their designs to ensure optimal user experiences on foldable screens, this optimization may take a while

Water and Dust Resistance:

Achieving water and dust resistance in foldable devices poses a significant challenge due to the devices’ moving parts and inherently foldable nature. The gap created by the folding mechanism can compromise the device’s resistance to environmental factors. These folding screens will have a short life span, proving a waste of money and resources.

Best Folding Mobile Phones of 2023

Despite the several challenges of making a foldable device, many tech giants have been able to create and produce folding screens that exceed expectations. From tough screens to stellar camera performance, here are our top picks for those considering diving into the foldable phone experience.

Huawei Mate X5

This is a top contender for the best folding screen device of 2023, even though it is currently only available in China. The Huawei Mate X5 features an innovative inward-folding design, providing an expansive unfolded display of 7.85 inches without a noticeable crease. With the use of Huawei’s almost indestructible Kunlun Glass and IPX8 water and dust resistance, this handset is one of the most durable folding phone options. It also (likely) features the powerful 9000s Kirin processor, an excellent battery life, and exceptional cameras for all your daily needs.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an innovative addition to the foldable phone market from the manufacturers who started it all. It features a new Flex Hinge Mechanism that slims down the dimensions, making it less bulky. It also delivers a powerful performance due to its renowned Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and long battery life. This folding screen is perfect for the productive customer due to its many multitasking gestures and updated taskbar to promote mobile productivity. It is also one of the few phones to offer native stylus support. While it is globally available, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a starting price of $1800, making it one of the costlier options.

Folding Screen Mature

Motorola Razr+

While the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra isn’t as sophisticated as the Huawei or Samsung options, it is more affordable. Starting at $700, this option is more about aesthetic appeal than increased productivity. The foldable phone is available in three colors, and its exterior display features an impressive cut-out that wraps around its two cameras. It is considerably easier to use than its Samsung flip-style counterpart, with no hassle to use your Android apps. But it is a little more susceptible to damage as it can only withstand small spills and splashes.

Takeaway Point

The maturity of folding screen technology is going incredibly quickly, given that since the first folding phone was released in 2019, many companies have attempted to create the “best” one. While significant strides have been made in terms of design and functionality, challenges persist. From damage-prone screens to overall cost, many key areas of foldable devices remain open to improvement. But, as technology advances, there’s no doubt that these challenges will be addressed efficiently. Ultimately, this will allow for a better and more widespread adoption of foldable screens in the future.