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4 Phones That Are Pushing the Limits

4 Phones That Are Pushing the Limits

Last week we looked at the flagship smartphones that are currently available, and while they are undeniably the best smartphones available today, they may not be the most interesting. In late 2018, manufacturers started releasing smartphones with folding screens. These devices didn’t work as well as the modern user needed them to, but it did signal that manufacturers are trying to innovate and extend what’s possible for the modern smartphone. 

This week we are going to look at four devices that are available right now that may just change the way that people look at the smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2

Of course, Samsung would be at the forefront of this shift. Even though they sell more smartphones than any other manufacturer, they keep on the cutting-edge so that doesn’t change. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is designed for those people who need the space of a compact tablet, but don’t want to take their tablet everywhere. 

Built on an aluminum frame with glass and plastic, the Galaxy Z Fold2 is an effective representation of the “folding smartphone”. On the front it features a 6.23-inch Super AMOLED display, but the Galaxy Z Fold2 folds out to a 7.6 inch display giving users a significantly larger display to interact with. 

The rest of the phone offers users similar features to a Samsung flagship phone from 2018. Three 12-megapixel lenses and two more front-facing 10 MP lenses (one for each screen) make up the camera setup. So, with two displays and three sets of cameras, Samsung has committed to this form factor that will ultimately cost their users much more. 

With a 4,500 mAh battery, the Galaxy Z Fold2 is the only smartphone of its kind, and can be purchased today 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

Samsung Z Flip and Motorola RAZR 

The Samsung Z Flip and the Motorola RAZR both take the old flip phone form factor and update it by flipping open to a smartphone. While some people would pay a premium price for the nostalgia’s sake, these devices stand alone as productivity tools.

The Motorola RAZR 5G is actually the second edition of this product. They have created a phone that looks like the iconic Moto RAZR. Like its namesake, the device has a display on the front of the folded phone, but instead of opening up to an old school pixelated screen, now it opens to a 6.2-inch P-OLED screen. The RAZR runs Android 10 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip and 8 GB of RAM with 256 GB of onboard storage space. 

The Samsung Z Flip is a similar device, but it doesn’t feature a large external display like the RAZR. It does, however, open up to a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED smartphone display. Also running Android 10, the Z Flip has similar internals, except it runs on the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor, the best one Samsung uses at the moment. This provides a Samsung phone experience on a phone that you can fold up and put in your pocket. 

The benefit of having a phone that folds up is durability. If you are going to spend the premium asking price for phones that fold, you expect it will last just as a flagship smartphone would (or preferably longer). Time will tell if the folding smartphone is here to stay, but I wouldn’t bet against it becoming a popular form factor as time passes and better OLED displays get more affordable. 

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)

LG Wing

The LG Wing has its own unique form factor, and a lot of people are interested. LG created a smartphone that when you pick it up at first it looks like a heavy, slightly thicker smartphone. The difference is that with a flick of the thumb, the Wing’s 6.8-inch P-OLED display flips up to horizontal and exposes a smaller 3.9-inch G-OLED display. This opens up a lot of software combinations and possibilities for future developers. 

The device itself is built from aluminum and Gorilla Glass 5 front and back. It runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G and comes with 8 GB of RAM. It has a 4,000 mAh battery, which is a standard size for a device without the top of the line processor. The tri-camera setup includes a 64-megapixel wide angle lens and dual ultrawide angle lenses of different speeds.

What’s crazy about this device is LG's decision to not use cutting-edge processing on a phone that could be a launching pad for an LG revival in the smartphone space. It has a lot of people talking. The LG Wing is available in Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky and will be coming to most carriers soon if it isn’t an option already.

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

Ironically, the smartphone, which has been made and remade in the same general fashion for over a decade, was once looked on as the biggest innovative disruptor perhaps in technology history. Whether these devices are just the first of a long line of new smartphone form factors, or if they are a flash in the pan and the old tried and true way wins out, It’s good to see manufacturers trying to innovate and push the envelope when developing new devices. 

What do you think of these devices? Do you think they are good for the industry or are they simply just gimmicks? Leave your comments below and check back next week for our final look at the 2020 smartphones that matter by looking at some well-priced smartphone values.

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