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New Devices Illustrate Innovative Smartphone Form Factors

New Devices Illustrate Innovative Smartphone Form Factors

For part two of our yearly look at smartphone technology, we thought we would take a look at some new form factors that have hit the market over the past few years. Devices that fold and swivel highlight new entries into the premium smartphone market. Let’s take a look at four of them now and don’t forget to check back next week when we finish our look at 2020’s best budget smartphones. 

Samsung Z Flip and Motorola RAZR 5G

Two devices that are of similar form factor are the Samsung Z Flip and the Motorola RAZR 5G. Like the flip phones of old, each of these devices fit in the palm of your hand and fold virtually in half. The difference, of course, is that today’s version of the flip phone flips into a massively powerful smartphone.

The Samsung Z Flip doesn’t feature a large external display like the RAZR (which we’ll talk about in a minute). Its 1.1-inch numeric display doesn’t really have a lot of function, but when it’s open, it becomes a 6.7-inch smartphone. Like the other premium devices, it runs on Android 10 on a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor, with 8 GB of RAM. The Z Flip provides a high-end smartphone experience in a device that folds in half, it’s that simple. 

The Motorola RAZR 5G looks like the iconic Moto RAZR did in the era before smartphones were king. For all of the RAZR’s nostalgia it seems to spec-out significantly lighter than the Z Flip. It features a 6.2-inch P-OLED screen that folds up and a smaller display on the outside of the folded phone. It runs Android 10 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip and comes with 8 GB of RAM with 256 GB of onboard storage space. 

Let’s take a look at the complete specs of these devices:

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Body: Aluminum with Plastic Front and Glass Back
Display: Folded: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED; Unfolded: 6.7-inch Foldable Dynamic AMOLED (~425 ppi)
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear - 12 MP (wide), 12 MP (ultrawide). Front - 12 MP (wide)
Sounds: Loudspeaker, No Headphone Jack
Battery (endurance rating): 3,300 mAh 
Security: Fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Barometer, Compass, Bixby assistant, IP68 dust/water resistant
Other versions: No

Motorola RAZR 5G
Body: Aluminum with plastic, Gorilla Glass 5
Display: 6.2-inch P-OLED (~373 ppi)
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Memory: 18 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear - 48 MP (wide)
Sounds: Loudspeaker, No Headphone Jack
Battery (endurance rating): 2,800 mAh
Security: Fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Barometer, Compass, Bixby assistant
Other versions: RAZR (2019)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2

Samsung’s major contribution into the folding smartphone market is actually the extraordinarily expensive Galaxy Z Fold2. While the device is impressive with its two full displays and three camera sets, there are some questions about who this device is for. 

Basically the biggest benefit is that the phone opens up to a 7.6-inch tablet. That benefit is substantial, of course, but without dedicated apps for that aspect ratio, it may only be valuable for people who want the best folding smartphone on the market, which this currently is. 

When folded it has a 6.23-inch Super AMOLED screen that functions much like your standard mid-range smartphone would, but when you unfold the Fold2, you get a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED display. The rest of the phone is as you would expect. It features a five-lens camera platform, a 4,500 mAh battery with fast charging, and an in-display fingerprint scanner for security. The Z Fold2 is available in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and a Thom Browne Edition Grey from most major carriers. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2
Body: Aluminum with plastic front and Gorilla Glass 6 back
Display: Folded: 6.23-inch Super AMOLED Unfolded: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (~373 ppi)
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
Memory: 12 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear - 12 MP (wide), 12 MP (telephoto) 2x, 12 MP (ultra wide); Front (Folded) - 10 MP (wide); Front (Unfolded) - 10 MP (wide).
Sounds: Stereo Speakers, No Headphone Jack
Battery (endurance rating): 4,500 mAh (87 hours)
Security: Fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Barometer, Compass, Bixby assistant
Other versions: 5G version

LG Wing

The last device we will look at today is the LG Wing. The Wing is interesting because out of the box it looks like your typical smartphone. When you get it into your hand however, you soon see what the big hub-a-loo is. With a flick of your thumb, you can turn the device's 6.9-inch screen horizontally to expose a second smaller 3.9-inch screen. You can use both screens independently or simultaneously within the same app that supports the content distribution.

The Wing’s hardware isn’t quite flagship quality, but it is pretty good. The quirky device runs on  Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G and comes with 8 GB of RAM. It is built from solid aluminum and Gorilla Glass 5. With its 4,000 mAh battery most solid users will get about a day out of it if they are consistently using the dual displays (why wouldn’t you if you had this phone?) The tri-camera setup includes a 64-megapixel wide angle lens and dual ultrawide angle lenses of different speeds.

The LG Wing is available in Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky and should be available on most carriers by the middle of November 2020. 

LG Wing
Body: Aluminum with Gorilla Glass 5 Front and Back
Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x (~511 ppi)
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: Yes (microSDXC)
Cameras: Rear - 64 MP (wide), 13MP (ultra wide), 12 MP (ultra wide) Front - 32 MP (wide)
Sounds: Loudspeaker, No Headphone Jack
Battery (endurance rating): 4,000 mAh (87 hours)
Security: In-screen fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Compass, IP54 dust/water
Other versions: None

What are your thoughts about these quirky new devices? Are they something that you expect to see or just gimmicks passing through to obscurity? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and return next week for our look into what makes a good budget smartphone.

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