Samsung’s flexible mobile ‘unfolds’ a new future for smartphone design

The pun was just begging to happen. Unfolding the future. Ha! But wordplay aside, look at this gorgeous beauty that Samsung calls the Galaxy Fold. Launched barely an hour ago, this is the future of smartphone design, as dictated by the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world. It doesn’t just have a flexible screen, it has TWO screens, a beautiful colored metallic back with a lovely spine of a complementing/contrasting color, and six cameras… Three on the outer back panel, one on the outer front panel, and two on the inside laid out in an asymmetric notch on the top right corner of the screen.

The phone sports two gorgeous displays no doubt, given that Samsung is the pioneer in display technology. You’ve got a slick 4.58-inch, 1960×840 OLED panel on the outside, serving as a traditional display when the phone is closed, and a gorgeous 7.3-inch, 2152×1536 resolution display on the inside, giving the phone an iPad Mini feel.However, since the phone folds in half, you’ve essentially got a phablet that you can easily slide into your pocket and carry around with you. The phone lacks a fingerprint sensor, but packs USB-C charging and comes in both LTE and 5G variants across a variety of colors that just accentuate the phone’s beautiful butterfly design.

This right here is the breath of fresh air we’ve been waiting for. With phones trying really hard to be different but not getting anywhere by sticking to the decade-plus-old candybar format, the market has been pining for something bold and beautiful… and the Galaxy Fold might just be it. The phone should be available by the end of April this year according to Samsung, and even though it sports a hefty price tag of $1980, it’s just natural, given that flexible screens haven’t become democratized or cheap yet. However, this is surely a milestone moment for smartphones. Great job, Samsung… You’ve piqued everyone’s interest! And that too on the 10th anniversary of the Galaxy smartphone!

Designer: Samsung

What if Microsoft made a smartphone 15 years before Apple did?

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The year is, well 1995, and Windows has just released an operating system that defines the company’s future, and pretty much the future of computing too. I’m talking about the extremely revolutionary (for its time) Windows 95. The graphical user interface based software spread like wildfire, becoming arguably the first professionally and personally used OS for Microsoft. Just for a second imagine if the past were different. If mobile computing devices did exist in 1995, and Microsoft beat Apple to the first smartphone (technically). The WinPhone 95 phone is a great piece of alternative-history that explores the idea of technology taking an unexplored path.

Created by designer Henrique Perticarati, the phone is a brilliant insight into Microsoft’s hardware and software. It, for starters, completely ports Microsoft’s Windows 95 onto the smartphone, bringing a desktop experience to a handheld device. The screen isn’t a touchscreen (the history isn’t THAT alternative), but it does feature a trackball at its base that you can use to navigate through the phone’s OS, with left and right click buttons right below it. (I wonder how one would type on this thing)

The WinPhone 95 phone does a shoutout to all the connector technologies of the past. It has what I assume is a 12v DC port for charging, boasts of not one but TWO jacks on the top (for your mic, and your headphones), and even has a, wait for it, VGA port for a display, and a Parallel port for a printer! Why would you need a printer or an external display, you say? Well, that’s because the WinPhone 95 phone packs a 1.2 megapixel camera on its back, making it arguably the first cellphone to have a camera on it… you know, if it existed. Also armed with a big, clunky, adorable volume switch, a turbo and hard-reset button, and even your Power and CPU LEDs (remember the two blinky lights on your desktop?), the WinPhone 95 is a great look at a phone that never happened and never even was on Microsoft’s agenda… but it’s worth imagining. What if the WinPhone 95 phone DID exist. How would that influence the future of smartphones. Would we see Java and Symbian? Or Android and iOS? Or would Microsoft be the reigning king of all operating systems??

Designer: Henrique Perticarati

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Every dongle you’d possibly need, around your keychain

In a world full of technology that is fragmented between USB, Micro-USB, Type-C, and Lightning connectors, something as small and unsuspecting as the High Five cable helps in uniting all technology. It’s amazing that something as small as this, barely 7 centimeters in length, packs every single port combination you’d need for your smartphones, tablets, power banks, and laptops. Packed with a USB, Type-C and a one-of-a-kind Micro-USB/Lightning hybrid port. This arrangement practically works for any product/OS combination you have. Windows laptop and iPhone? You’re sorted. MacBook and Android phone? Taken care of. iPhone and Type-C based power bank? The High-Five has a solution for that too.

The High-Five is housed inside a pretty neat, compact metal case with three perceivable parts. It has a Type-C port, and a MicroUSB/Lightning hybrid port, connected to each other by a thick, silicone, tangle-free cable. These two ports stick to each other magnetically, and fit/dock inside a USB port, giving you every single port combination you’d need for charging or for data transfer.

The cleverness of the High-Five also lies in its weirdly clever hybridization of the MicroUSB and Lightning ports. Designed as a single port, the designers at Vonmählen and Emami Design combined the two least universal port designs into one, because there’s practically zero likelihood of you needing a lightning-to-microUSB cable in today’s day and age. This combination, as well as the overall product’s layout, allows the High-Five to be, as its name suggests, a 5-in-1 cable that you can use with practically any sort of gadget across any operating system and standard.

The High-Five even secured an iF Design Award this year for its innovative and compact dongle-to-rule-all-dongles. Available in a classy metal or colored ABS plastic body, the High-Five is small enough to securely sit on your keychain, or even be looped around an organizer ring in your backpack. It surely beats having to carry 5 different (or even 2 different) lengthy cables along with you that end up getting entangled, frayed, or lost. Literally the last charging and data-transfer dongle you’d need, the High-Five was made to be truly universal, and with its layout and prioritization of ports, should work with all products from 5 years ago or even with products 5 years into the future!

Designers: Vonmählen and Emami Design

Click Here to Buy Now: $16 $23 (30% Off and Free Shipping) Hurry, less than 72 hours left!

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The Doogee S90 is basically a smartphone designed for Batman

What normal person would want a smartphone that is designed to A. be practically unbreakable and shatter-proof, B. be waterproof enough to be submerged for 2 weeks, C. work at ridiculous temperatures of -80°C (-112°F) D. dock a night-vision camera module, E. dock a walkie-talkie module with a 10km range, F. dock an external 5000mAh battery module, G. dock a gamepad module (for casual gaming when you’re not using the night-vision camera to snipe out Joker’s henchmen), and finally H. have a dual-sim feature with worldwide 4G coverage.

The answer is that no normal person should need a phone that is capable of so much, it might as well replace Batman’s utility belt (hell you could use it as a batarang too)… but China-based smartphone manufacturer Doogee went and built the S90 anyway. This behemoth of a smartphone may run Android Oreo, but it makes up for that with a break-proof design that can take pretty much all the damage you dole out to it (including but not limited to driving a car over it). The S90 is also an impressive IP68/IP69K water and dust proof. Drop it in the sand or on the road and the dust does nothing to it. Casually toss it into your pool and come back after two weeks and the S90 will still work as if nothing ever happened to it. Use it in the polar vortex too, the S90 can handle temperatures of up to -112°F. Oh, and it supports 10W wireless charging too.

Its remarkably resilient design is, however, just one of the great things about the S90. The S90 even packs modularity into it, with four rather useful modules that simply snap onto the phone’s back. A night-vision camera module allows you to shoot photos in incredibly low-light settings, thanks to the Sony IMX291 sensor. Switch the night-vision camera for Doogee’s walkie talkie module and you can communicate with all mainstream intercom devices within a 6-10 km range. The S90 also comes with a 5000 mAh battery module that instantly gives you a second day’s worth of battery power simply by snapping the power-pack onto the back of the phone… and when all’s said and done, switch to the game-pad module for a nice handheld gaming experience after a day of night-vision photography, outdoor communication, swimming, trekking, etc.

Clearly made for extreme use, the S90 also packs a few features its users may deem essential. It comes with a dual-sim slot (a very common feature in countries like China and India) and Full Netcom global 4G coverage. There’s even a fingerprint sensor on the back, right under the dual-lens camera. Packing NFC capabilities as well as wireless charging, the S90 is a pretty capable phone in the urban jungle, but take it to the most extreme of conditions and push its capabilities to the max and the S90 stands out. With its ability to work perfectly underwater, through sub-zero temperatures, or even after being run over by a car, the S90 would do the Nokia 3310 proud.

Designer: Doogee

Click Here to Buy Now: $469 $754 (38% Off on the Ultimate Bundle: Includes the S90 along with Night Vision Camera Module, Battery Pack Module, Walkie-Talkie Module, Game-Pad Module, and a Wireless Charging Pad)

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Click Here to Buy Now: $469 $754 (38% Off on the Ultimate Bundle: Includes the S90 along with Night Vision Camera Module, Battery Pack Module, Walkie-Talkie Module, Game-Pad Module, and a Wireless Charging Pad)

An origami-style tablet stand that’s thinner than your credit card

Crafted from environmentally friendly PVC and PP, the FODI is a nifty little stand for your tablet and smartphone. When flat, it measures a cool 1mm thick, and uses the powers of Origami to fold open into a convenient stand that lets you dock your smartphone or tablet onto it at a convenient angle for watching videos, movies, or just regular video-chatting.

The FODI is made from polymers that provide strength over periodic use (the PP gives it its flexible ability). Designed with alluring patterns like marble, granite, wood, or even graphical designs, the FODI goes rather well with the tech that docks on it as well as the decor around you. Its incredibly slim profile even means you can carry it around with you in your tablet-sleeve or backpack. If only it could wirelessly charge your devices too, that would just be perfect!

Designers: Kade Chan & Kiho Satoshi

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A mobile tripod that’s small enough to fit on your keychain

Tell me if this scenario feels familiar. You’re alone, you’ve got your hands occupied, and you need to film something on your smartphone. You prop your phone against something on your table or counter, perhaps a tin of coffee, or any stationary object you find around you. You switch on the camera, and as soon as you compose your shot, you tap the screen to hit record and your phone shakes. It’s inelegant, and is what Indians call jugaad, or a lifehack. Engineer and ex-rocket scientist Jeremiah McCoy found himself in a similar scenario and realized he wasn’t the only one… and rather than relying on a worthless lifehack, he developed a more concrete, appropriate solution to the problem.

Essentially a tripod for your phone, the Ultimate Kickstand is a small piece of plastic, the size of a thumb drive, and small enough to fit on your keychain (it even comes with its own carabiner). Fold it out, and it becomes a phone-gripping tripod that you can place anywhere, and even at any angle. It works universally, gripping any phone by the sides (you can only use it in landscape, unfortunately), and rests on two legs and a base. A worthy replacement for a coffee-tin, a couch cushion, or any cheap prop, the Ultimate Kickstand can be used to compose great shots of products, people handsfree (no more selfie-stick either!) The Ultimate Kickstand is currently 3D printed out of PLA plastic, but I don’t see why we can’t have ourselves a nice machined Aluminum one somewhere in the future. Did I also mention that it’s small enough to be carried with you everywhere on your keychain?

Designer: Jeremiah McCoy

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The Moto Razr 2019 is the perfect fusion of futurism and nostalgia

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The interweb has been buzzing with a certain piece of news leaked by the Wall Street Journal only last week. Motorola plans to build a 2019-appropriate version of their iconic Razr phone. Details are incredibly scarce, and the only taste of the phone we’ve got is via images from their patent registration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation in December 2018.

The 3D visualization of the 2019 Razr bases itself on these patents. The new Razr will be more squarish (when closed) than its predecessors, but that’s only because it comes with a flexible folding display that runs all the way from the top to the bottom, with what we can only assume is an aspect ratio of 19:8, along with curved edges and even a notch (the notch design has always been a part of the Razr series, if you recall). Flip the phone on its back and you see the secondary display and the single-lens camera on the upper half of the phone, and a fingerprint sensor on the lower half. The presence of two screens means you can A. use the camera as both a front and backwards facing shooter, as well as B. access the phone’s notifications without opening out the flexible display. There’s no word on whether the secondary display will be touch-enabled. There’s also the absence of volume buttons in the patent drawing (and subsequently left out of the visualization), as well as a power button, but given the phone’s flip nature, I doubt we’d need a power button on this beaut.

Through the years, the Razr has always been a symbol of cutting-edge futurism. Unsettlingly thin when it launched, the Moto Razr was an immediate object of desire, with its slim profile, and the fact that it was probably the only phone to come bundled with iTunes long before Apple closed their ecosystem. The 2019 Razr builds on that philosophy, retaining the slim profile, and introducing a new bit of futuristic tech, with the flexible display. A rare combination of cutting-edge (wordplay!) innovation and fond nostalgia, the Razr 2019 could easily be this year’s most awaited phone (and the year’s just begun!)

Designer/Visualization: Sarang Sheth

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Employees Working On Their Personal Devices? Security Tips For BYOD

Technology has transformed the way in which businesses operate in recent times. One of the biggest ways that this has happened is through employees working on their personaldevices, such as phones, tablets and laptops. This has been a terrific advancement because it allows staff to work at home, on their […]

Spigen’s Classic C1 case for the iPhone is a delightful tech throwback!

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The iMac G3, in its translucent, colorful, flavorful glory is considered to be the starting point of Apple’s aesthetic dominance in the tech industry, and also the product that sealed Jonathan Ive’s reputation as a designer to be reckoned with. Available in thirteen different ‘flavors’, the iMac G3 looked absolutely stunning, offering a candylike color scheme and a translucent housing that let you peer into the ‘mind of the computer’.

Spigen’s Classic C1 pays tribute to that glorious phase in Apple’s timeline, with its three-part case for the iPhone X that mimics the technology-meets-translucent glory of the iMac. Available in seven of the thirteen colors (Spigen’s stayed true to the colors too), the case sits in three parts around the iPhone. The inner cover gives the case its skeletal design, with the circuit-board design and the cutout near the Apple logo (flip it over and it even has the ‘hello (again)’ text that was displayed in the iMac G3 advertisements). The two outer cases mount on the inner case, giving your iPhone the dual-colored appearance that the iMac was famous for. The inner and outer layers of the case not only help stay true to the iMac aesthetic, but they also add to the security, absorbing impact and preventing the iPhone from any sort of damage. Plus, Spigen also built the cases to be thick enough to protect the phone, but thin enough to let the phone be charged wirelessly with the case on. Pretty adorable, I’d say. I have my eyes on the iconic Bondi Blue.

Designer: Spigen

Click Here to Buy Now

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This playfully unique wireless charger isn’t a pad or a dock

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Designed with a toyish charm that totally makes charging much more entertaining as an activity, Mr. Charger isn’t shaped like your usual pad or phone-dock. In fact, it looks like a simple-minded lad sitting on the pier with his legs dangling above the water. Place your phone upside down and Mr. Charger on top, and he simply whiles away his time, while your phone gets charged. You’ll almost not want to lift him up to use your phone, lest Mr. Charger get disturbed.

However, if you DO want to go ahead and use your phone, the Mr. Charger can be flipped on his side and used as a prop-stand. Not quite as entertaining, but it provides the dual purpose you need. Mr. Charger is clearly emotional design done right, and this achieves a couple of rather interesting things. It humanizes the charger, making you perceive it as an entity in itself rather than just an accessory… and it also makes charging your phone a lot more entertaining, as you watch Mr. Charger sit quietly, content in his own little world, as the smartphone underneath him gets charged. Besides, Mr. Charger packs a clock into his tiny two-legged body too. Available as both an analog clock (that uses the watch face as Mr. Charger’s face) and as a digital clock that turns the seven-segment display into a set of happy little eyes, Mr. Charger is a rare wireless charger that actually makes charging your phone less of a drag and more of a playful pastime!

Designers: Dawn by SJ & Ki-Beom Hwang

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