Foldable game controller concept solves portability in a different way

Gaming on the go is quite popular these days, whether it’s on a mobile phone, a handheld device, or even a laptop temporarily parked at a cafe. While video games have traditionally been divided into PC and console camps, this latest trend has made many gamers reach for controllers or devices with built-in controllers, regardless of their platform of choice. Wireless game controllers have become quite numerous because of this, ranging from typical designs to telescopic mechanisms that stretch to grip smartphones or even tablets. Of course, these two aren’t the only designs possible for portable gamepads, and this concept tries to approach the problem from a different angle, one that takes a page out of one of the trendiest smartphone designs of late: foldable phones.

Designer: Przemysław Wolnicki

The basic problem with game controllers is their innate bulk. You can’t really shrink them without sacrificing comfort and ergonomics. This makes them less appealing to quickly stow in bags, much less pockets, as you dash out the door in the hopes of being able to play later on. Even those who prefer to game at home might find the permanent presence of a large chunk of plastic to be visually distracting and might look for ways to minimize their footprint when not in use.

Swift is a game controller design concept that adopts a folding mechanism to make the device more compact in transit. Despite the fact that foldables aren’t new, it’s curious that this design hasn’t been adapted for game controllers at all. There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to such a design, but those can hardly be verified unless tested in the real world.

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This controller concept adopts the more symmetrical button arrangement of a PlayStation controller, which would make the folded form also more balanced when folded. One curious detail about the design is the ribbed surface covering the middle and back of the controller. It’s not clear whether the choice of material is simply aesthetic, but it will definitely have an effect on the texture of the controller, which in turn affects comfort and ergonomics.

While a foldable controller design is definitely interesting and curious, it also raises a few questions as well. While the design does halve the width of the device, it doubles its thickness in turn. There might also be some concerns about the wear and tear this mechanism will incur over time, especially given the wires that have to run through the middle to connect the two halves. Perhaps that is the reason why a foldable design hasn’t been adopted for controllers, but this concept at least tries to encourage pushing the boundaries instead of just adopting the status quo.

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Motorola Razr+ 2024 foldable phone: News, Rumors, Price, and Release Date

Google I/O 2024 has come and gone, and despite rumors and expectations, a new foldable phone was nowhere in sight. Of course, the Google Pixel Fold is hardly the only game in town, nor is it the only one that’s expected to debut really soon. Perhaps beating both Google and Samsung to the punch, Motorola’s next-gen foldable could be hitting shelves as early as June, though it will still be competing with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip rather than the OnePlus Open and other larger foldables. Unofficial information about the device is quite thin, but the ones we’ve already heard are quite substantial and paint an interesting picture, one that could make the Motorola Razr+ 2024 or Motorola Razr 50 Ultra the clamshell foldable to beat this year.

Designer: Motorola

Motorola Razr+ 2024: Design

According to sources, this year’s Motorola foldable would look exactly like last year’s Motorola foldable, save for some changes in screen size. That means the Motorola Razr+ 2024’s external screen will still cover the entire surface of the upper half of the phone’s back, leaving only room for the camera lenses themselves. It might sound like a letdown and a sign of lack of innovation over at Motorola, but sticking to a design that works is also a sign of maturity, especially since the design is only a year old.

Image courtesy of: MSPoweruser

Motorola’s design for its Cover Screen is admittedly divisive. On the one hand, it’s the only foldable of its kind that utilizes the whole area, while others make do with tiny rectangles, even tinier circles, or a square with an uneven cutout to make way for cameras. On the other hand, this also makes for a weird arrangement that actually cuts out part of the display anyway, making the image or text in that area inaccessible.

Motorola is also the only brand that allows normal apps to run on that external screen, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Regardless, it seems to be sticking to its guns for one more year, offering an experience that, while faithful to the design spirit of the original RAZR, isn’t afraid to go beyond to offer something new and useful.

Motorola Razr+ 2024: Specs and Software

While the Moto Razr+ 2024, or Moto Razr 50 Ultra, won’t look any different on the outside, it will be a very different beast on the inside. Of course, there’s the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 leading the changes, and there will supposedly be a larger external screen at 3.9 inches up from last year’s 3.6-inch Cover Screen. There will also be 12GB of RAM paired with 256GB of storage, while the battery has been expanded from 3,800mAh to 4,000mAh.

Given the expected launch windows, the 2024 Razr will be running Android 14 out of the box, and while it might sound like Motorola would upgrade it once Android 15 comes out, there’s not really any certainty. After all, the Motorola Razr+ 2023, which launched with Android 13, still received Android 14 half a year later. Despite being once owned by Google (now under Lenovo’s stewardship), Motorola’s track record for Android updates sadly isn’t that impressive.

Motorola Razr+ 2024: Cameras

Part of the big upgrades coming to the Motorola Razr+ 2024 according to those rumors is an upgrade to the camera system. It will now have not one but two 50MP cameras, one of which has a wide lens while the other is capable of 2x telephoto zoom. Given how Motorola advertises its foldable phone as a sort of mini camcorder, more capable cameras are definitely in order. The 32MP selfie camera, on the other, might remain the same as last year.

Motorola Razr+ 2024: Price and Release Date

There has been no word on the exact date when the Motorola Razr+ 2024 will be launched, which might go by the name of Motorola Razr 50 Ultra in other markets, but all signs point to yet another June release. In fact, the device was spotted making its way through a certification process, suggesting that its debut is close at hand. The leak also confirms what we’ve heard about the design, that it would be a dead knocker for last year’s model.

Image courtesy of: 91mobiles

That leak also “revealed” the color options for the Razr+ 2024, which include Blue, Orange, and Green instead of last year’s Black, Magenta, and Peach. But the more interesting detail about the phone is its starting price of $999 for the base model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That’s the same price for half the capacity last year, so it will definitely make the Motorola Razr+ 2024 the cheapest flagship foldable in the market.

Motorola Razr+ 2024: Final Thoughts

Although they are younger than the larger foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold, clamshell-style foldables have become better accepted and sought after. They’re usually more affordable and look more stylish, bringing to mind the flip phones of old. They’re pocketability makes a bit more sense to most people who don’t need a phone that turns into a tablet, and their accessible price tag makes them feel more like regular flagships rather than overpriced novelties.

Of the many foldable flip phones in the market right now, the Motorola Razr+ 2024 seems to offer a more reasonable balance of features and price, especially one from a reputable brand. It looks like this year will show a significant upgrade, at least internally, while still keeping the design that has won fans. That said, Motorola’s Android updates don’t inspire confidence, and we’ve yet to see it make any improvements in that regard.

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Top 5 Quirky Phone Designs That Actually Make Sense

Smartphones today seem to look very similar, varying only in the shape of the camera bump and the color of their backs. Sometimes, the materials might be different, too, but the same large-sized “candy bar” form factor has become the standard for all the smartphones currently in the market. There was a time, however, when companies were a bit more daring, experimenting with phone designs and features in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. That did lead to some rather eccentric and sometimes even ridiculous designs that make us question the sanity of the minds behind them. But there are times when those odd designs of the past actually have important relevance today. Here are five such phone design oddities that we wished existed or still exist, and some alternatives in case you may have been smitten by their quirky appearance.

Designer: Google, Motorola

Undying Handset: Project Ara

Google’s Project Ara inspired the idea of a modular smartphone whose components you can easily swap to upgrade or repair parts. In theory, this would make the phone last forever, or at least as long as the base is intact and parts continue to be manufactured for it. In practice, it was a very ambitious endeavor that could neither meet expectations nor present a viable business model that wouldn’t bankrupt manufacturers. In the end, that sustainable and immortal smartphone remained just a dream, at least in that idealistic and perfect form.

Alternative: Fairphone 5

Designer: Fairphone

Fortunately, a part of that dream is actually possible and even sustainable in more ways than one. Although you can’t hot swap components on the fly, the Fairphone 5 at least offers a way for owners to change important parts of the phone, like batteries or even cameras, to keep them running almost forever. There are some limitations, of course, but if all you want is a phone that will last you for almost a decade instead of just two years, this self-repairable design pretty much has that in the bag.

Mobile Shutterbug: Nokia N90

One of the biggest uses for smartphones today next to social media is taking photos and videos. In the days even before the term “smartphone” was coined, even the most advanced handsets from the likes of Nokia could barely hold a candle to point-and-click cameras. That’s why the quirky Nokia N90 was prophetic and way ahead of its time, envisioning a day when smartphones would be used like camcorders, though with a bit more awkwardness due to their inflexible designs.

Alternative: Nokia x Nothing Concept

Designer: Viet Doan Duc

While clamshell phones are back in season thanks to foldable screens, the folding and twisting design of the original Nokia N90 remains a distant memory. This concept tries to answer the question of “what if?” and mixes two famed brands’ design languages to craft what could be the perfect camera phone. It makes you feel like a pro photographer or cinematographer, holding up your phone not with shame but with pride, capturing not only the moment but also people’s attention in a good way.

Pocket Book: YotaPhone Dual-Screen Phone

Designer: YotaDevices

E Ink devices are becoming more popular these days, especially after the addition of features like stylus support and color. These displays are easy on the eyes and the battery, allowing the screen to show the same thing for days without requiring a recharge. A few years back, a small company tried to bring those benefits to the smartphone in the oddest way, by putting an E Ink screen on its back. Although it can be used for reading e-books on the go, its main purpose was to have a battery-saving always-on display that is a bit more dynamic and useful than typical AOD implementations.

Alternative: Onyx BOOX Palma

Designer: BOOX

That said, a phone-sized Android device with an E Ink display might be an even more efficient design, which is what the Onyx BOOX Palma is offering. Technically, it’s an e-book reader that’s the size of a regular phone and actually runs Android, which is the standard for BOOX’s devices. This means it has access to the same apps you have on your regular phone, but without color. You also don’t have cellular connectivity via a SIM card, which might be a deal-breaker for a phone but a great deal for distraction-free reading and mobility.

Productive Minimalism: Minimal Phone

Designer: The Minimal Company

BlackBerry might have joined the likes of Nokia and LG as just parts of the annals of mobile history, but its squarish shape and QWERTY keyboard are forever etched in the consciousness of even the least tech-savvy person on the planet. Many have tried to recreate that magic, but this rather elegant yet odd phone puts a twist to it. It combines the iconic BlackBerry design with an E Ink screen and a minimalist aesthetic, promising distraction-free productivity by actually limiting what you can do on the device. It can even make it easier to actually reply to or post on social media, though the drab grayscale screen is probably going to make that a little less enjoyable anyway.

Alternative: Clicks QWERTY Case

Designer: Clicks

The idea of a BlackBerry-like experience might tickle the fancy of smartphone users, but none of them will be willing to ditch their powerful, colorful, and highly functional smartphones. Clicks is a case that tries to bring the best of both worlds, and it’s practically just a case that slides onto an iPhone to provide that tactile typing experience. You won’t have to give up your favorite apps, especially the ones you need to actually be productive, but the burden of being disciplined and ignoring distractions is now on you instead.

Shapeshifting Multitasker: Astro Slide 5G

Designer: Planet Computers

A phone that opens like a mini typewriter has actually been around since the days of the Nokia Communicator and its kin, but that design proved to be more complicated than they’re worth. After playing with that same design, PlanetComputing shifted to a slider that still provides that typing experience while retaining the exact same functions as a phone. Unfortunately, such a mechanism proved to be just as clunky and unreliable, and the software platform didn’t exactly lend itself well to a landscape screen.

Alternative: Any Foldable Phone

Designer: OPPO

These days, you don’t have to rely on a physical qwerty keyboard to have that same mini laptop experience. With foldable phones now more common, you can tap away on a more flexible on-screen keyboard when the device is only half-folded. At the same time, however, you have both phone and tablet functionality in your hands. Admittedly, the design is far from perfect, and we’re still waiting for more affordable foldables coming in the very near future.

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Windows on ARM success can drive PC design innovation

Despite the power that smartphones and tablets have these days, PCs and their Mac equivalents remain the workhorses of the modern world. Not only do they have more power, they also offer more flexibility thanks to decades of research, development, and innovation. Market analysts, however, have long been pointing to the demise of the PC market, especially desktops, and there has indeed been a great deal of stagnation not only in hardware but even in product designs. It’s not that there haven’t been any improvements, just that designs have become predictable and even sometimes forgettable. You can’t, after all, change the design formula too much unless you also drastically change the internals as well. That’s the kind of burst in innovation that awaits the PC market, both laptops and even desktops, if running Windows on the same hardware as smartphones and tablets finally becomes reliable and productive.

Designer: Qualcomm

Rough Start: Microsoft Surface

It’s not like the combination of Windows and ARM-based processors, the same silicon that powers mobile devices, hasn’t been done before, but almost all past attempts have come up short of expectations. Disregarding the antiquated Windows CE and Windows Phone variants, Microsoft has time and again tried to bring the benefits of phones and tablets to PCs without much success. One of the first ones in recent memory is the smaller Microsoft Surface. Although the Surface Pro has become something of an icon today, its base model didn’t enjoy the same level of fame, attention, and sales.

Microsoft Surface RT

Designer: Microsoft

The Surface RT and Surface 2 both ran on ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra processors that were normally quite capable on Android tablets. Even those, however, couldn’t bear the weight of Windows, even the watered-down Windows RT version. To add insult to injury, the apps available for that platform were a dismal number which didn’t include the software that people needed to use on Windows. Thus, these first attempts at Windows on ARM were considered to be abject failures, but surprisingly, Microsoft didn’t give up completely.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Fast-forward to today, there have been numerous attempts to improve the situation, both from the hardware and the software side. The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 now has a version that runs an even more powerful ARM Qualcomm processor, and the Microsoft Store has quite a selection of popular apps. There are also some emulation solutions for running “normal” Windows software on ARM laptops and tablets, but that’s not exactly a panacea. All these sound like too much effort for what seems like a niche design, but it’s an effort that could yield a bountiful harvest if it succeeds.

Faster, Slimmer, Cooler

Qualcomm announced last month its new Snapdragon X Plus and Elite processors, and while the “Snapdragon” name is popular for smartphones and tablets, the “X” chips are earmarked for use in Windows computers instead, particularly laptops. Qualcomm boasts numbers that would make the likes of Intel and AMD worry, though it’s also aiming squarely for Apple’s M series processors. That’s definitely a tall order, especially with the launch of the new Apple M4 chip, but if theory proves to be even remotely near the mark, it will be a huge win for the Windows market and PCs in general.

Designer: Qualcomm

The new Snapdragon X Plus and Elite unsurprisingly boast about being able to do heavy-duty generative AI work, something that would require a lot of processing power that is traditionally only available on “regular” laptops and desktops. What would set it apart, however, is how it delivers that performance with lower battery consumption, heat, and space compared to equivalent Intel and AMD processors. It’s too early to say if Qualcomm will be able to deliver those promises, but it’s definitely a big leap compared to previous generations.

ARM-based processors like those from Qualcomm and MediaTek have been used in mobile devices precisely because of these traits. They can keep the product compact without impacting performance, something that laptop makers aim for every year. More importantly, however, these small form factors open the doors to less conventional designs, paving the way for dual-screen, foldable, or rollable PCs that don’t sacrifice their power for the sake of their novel appearance and features.

Thinking Outside the Box

The very first benefit of Windows successfully and smoothly running on ARM devices would be thinner laptops with longer battery lives. It can’t be understated how significant that will be for creatives, especially those who will rely a lot on that generative AI that everyone’s talking about these days. But even if you do much of your designs manually, the idea that you can bring your work anywhere without breaking your back and stay unplugged for more than half a day is going to appeal to a lot of people

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

Designer: Lenovo

Once that has become the norm, however, it will be time to explore the possibilities that thinner, more compact, or smaller devices can bring. Imagine those handheld gaming PCs becoming thinner and smaller, almost down to tablet or even phone sizes. Admittedly, being able to play just about any PC game is going to be tricky today, but that’s not going to be the case in the future.

And then there are the current novelties like laptops with two screens or foldable displays, designs that have to sacrifice performance for the sake of super thin bodies. It hasn’t arrived yet, but a rollable screen might even become a thing for computers. In other words, Windows on ARM would enable all these forms beyond desktop towers and laptops to become possible without sacrificing too much performance. We seem to be heading in that direction already, but hardware is only half the battle.

Uphill Battle

No matter how powerful ARM chips are, enough to smoothly run Windows, all of that will fall on deaf ears if Windows on ARM isn’t able to support as much as 80% of regular Windows software, including games and especially content creation tools. That was what killed the Surface RT and Surface 2, after all, and things have improved considerably but not yet to most PC users’ satisfaction. One of the available solutions right now is emulation, like making the software or game think it’s running on an Intel/AMD computer, but that incurs penalties in performance.

AYANEO Flip DS

AYANEO Slide

Designer: AYANEO

There are also obstacles to be overcome on the hardware side. As strange as it might sound, PCs are a somewhat open ecosystem when it comes to the variety of things you can plug into a computer and have them working automatically. You lose some of that with Windows on ARM because of compatibility issues, and that might prevent less popular but heavily used peripherals from working, at least not at first. Unfortunately, that might be a huge deal breaker, especially for those who have already invested in devices for their workflow.

Designer: Qualcomm

Final Thoughts

Qualcomm’s announcement of the Snapdragon X Plus and Elite tried to preempt Apple’s new M4 chip and iPad Pros. Apple’s venture into the ARM world is both a boon and a bane for the likes of Qualcomm as it demonstrates what’s possible. But even Apple has remained within the boundaries of traditional devices like a tablet and a laptop. Not surprising for a company that is very meticulous and careful about the design of its products.

Designer: Apple

The Windows world, however, is a bit more daring thanks to the diversity of people involved. Unconventional and sometimes impractical designs pop up once in a while, but they’re all hampered by the limitations of hardware that’s commonly available for PCs. Windows on ARM isn’t new and it still has a long way to go to confidently match what Intel, AMD, and now Apple are selling, but stakeholders in the PC industry should probably consider rallying behind this if they want to breathe new life into the stagnating PC market.

Designer: Samsung

The post Windows on ARM success can drive PC design innovation first appeared on Yanko Design.

Foldable iPhone Needs to Happen: 5 Reasons Why Foldable Phones are Here to Stay

Apple just announced what might be the biggest upgrade to the iPad line since the iPad Pro was introduced in 2015. In addition to switching to an OLED panel, with all the benefits that it entails, as well as gaining a new Apple Pencil Pro, the new iPad Pro is possibly one of if not the thinnest tablets in the market, especially for its 13-inch size. But while Apple’s new tablets are definitely worthy of attention, the company’s fans are still holding their breath for a foldable iPhone. Rumors claim that could be coming in two years, but it could also be canned at the last minute, just like the AirPower wireless charging mat if the design and performance don’t meet the meticulous company’s standards. Then again, some probably consider foldable devices as a passing fad, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apple should launch a foldable phone sooner rather than later because these devices aren’t going away, and here are the reasons why.

Designer: Semin Jun

1. Content is Still King

Chances are, you’re using your phone less for calls and more for content, which does include activities like instant messaging and chatting. The screen is the most important part of the device because it is the part that we see and use the most. Content is the primary reason for having a smartphone, whether it’s for consuming content or sometimes even creating it, so any technology that lets people enjoy more content or gives them more ways to enjoy content is always a winner. Is it any wonder, then, why phablets or phones with large screens are now the norm, despite how much Apple ridiculed its size at first?

Foldable devices solve this in two ways. Large foldable phones in the style of the Google Pixel Fold offer an experience similar to a mini iPad mini that you can still shove in your pocket and use as a regular phone to some extent. In theory, it delivers the best of both worlds, with a screen that can contain as much content as possible while still in a portable format.

Conversely, clamshell-style foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series strike the problem from the opposite end. It provides a screen experience that’s exactly like a normal large phone but lets you conveniently cram the device in very small purses and pockets. It still prizes the role of content but delivers it in a design that doesn’t get in your way because of its size.

2. Falling Prices

One of the reasons why people avoid foldable phones and why they see them as luxurious fads is because of their rather mind-blowing prices. Yes, it’s expected that novel technologies and designs would cost more at the start, but foldable phones have been around for almost half a decade now, and yet most still cost a premium flagship and a half. Fortunately, things are changing for the better, even if slowly.

Designer: nubia

As the technologies and components become more common, the cost of their production will start to decrease as well. Given that there’s still plenty of room for newer designs that will involve more costs, high-end foldable phones won’t be going away any time soon. At the same time, however, that still leaves the door wide open for options on the lower rung of the price ladder. The new nubia Flip 5G, for example, is currently the most affordable among the relatively cheaper clamshell foldables. Sure, it does cut corners in a few aspects, but that is also proof that you can have “mid-tier” foldable phones in this market.

There’s definitely a great deal of interest in a cheaper book-style foldable, and that might be coming this year if not from Samsung then from its growing number of rivals. Admittedly, it might take another year before more affordable foldables become more common, but it’s something that will happen sooner rather than later.

3. Design Refinement

Even after five years, the foldable phone design is still relatively young. Given how it strays so far from normal phones, it’s not surprising that perfection still feels so far away. In other words, there’s still much to be done, and smartphone makers continue to push the boundaries, refusing to settle for the status quo. In a way, it’s a matter of pride for these brands, as well as refusing to admit defeat after investing so heavily in foldable designs.

Images courtesy of AppleInsider

Foldable phones are getting thinner to the point that a folded phone no longer feels like you have two regular phones stacked together. At the same time, others are cramming more powerful and larger cameras into these ultra-thin devices, trying to get them on the same playing field as any other flagship model. While standard smartphone designs seem to have settled down after many tumultuous years, things are just heating up for foldables. There’s still a lot to be explored, and we’re far from reaching the peak.

4. Stylish Trendsetters

Smartphones have graduated from being technological products that only tech-savvy people can truly appreciate to lifestyle items that reflect the owner’s design tastes and personal preferences. Smartphone expressiveness is becoming an important factor in how people choose devices these days, from the design of the cameras to the overall style of the phone itself. That’s part of the reason why “flip” foldable phones are reported to be outselling their larger cousins, precisely because they bring back that classy image of flip phones from decades ago.

Designer: Honor

Yes, you can dress up your regular phone slab as much as you want, but the way you open and close a foldable phone is going to be fashionable for quite a while. And you can also dress them up as much as you want, and may even offer more customization options and creativity with the styles of cases and accessories used. Everything you can do on standard phones, you can also do with foldables but with more pizzazz and a “wow!” factor.

There’s also the aspect of offering more customization options inside as well. The foldable screen is a bigger canvas you can play on, and some external Cover Screens can get creative with their designs as well. It’s a new playground for designers and creative users who want to truly make their smartphones an extension of themselves.

5. Innovation Has Just Begun

Foldable phones are just the start, however, because they are the most accessible and easiest to comprehend. Once the idea of foldable screens has become cemented in people’s minds, it will be easier to introduce newer designs that can provide even better solutions. The current foldable designs are far from perfect, but they’re paving the way for future foldable devices.

Designer: Samsung

We’re already seeing that in the PC market with the introduction of foldable laptops, but we don’t need to go that far for proof. Samsung has already shown off working prototypes of tri-fold devices that turn the phone into a larger, and more conventional tablet design. We’ll see other foldable technologies unfold (no pun intended) in the future as well, including a phone that folds both ways. And don’t forget those rollable screens that offer an alternative answer to the same screen size problem.

Apple is rumored to unveil a foldable laptop next year, with a foldable iPhone following in 2026. Honestly, the order should probably be reversed, given how MacBook owners are more meticulous about how new designs affect functionality, sometimes negatively. Either way, Apple really needs to jump on this train soon, not just because it’s trending but because it can have a significant impact in driving innovation in this space forward by leaps and bounds.

The post Foldable iPhone Needs to Happen: 5 Reasons Why Foldable Phones are Here to Stay first appeared on Yanko Design.

nubia Flip 5G Foldable Phone Review: Finally, A Foldable Phone You Can Afford

PROS:


  • Simple yet beautiful design

  • Large, bright, and vibrant foldable screen

  • Distinctive "porthole" external screen design

  • Attractive and affordable price point

CONS:


  • Dated hardware and software

  • Unimpressive camera output

RATINGS:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE
SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR'S QUOTE:

The nubia Flip 5G delivers the essentials of a foldable phone experience without burning a hole through your wallet.

In order to sell more foldable phones, this niche market segment needs to be as common as regular, non-folding phones. These normal phones, however, appeal to the masses because they can cater to a wide range of buyers, including those with tighter budgets. There has long been a clamor for more affordable foldable phones, both the larger book-style design as well as the clamshell type, but few manufacturers have dared to heed the call. The nubia Flip 5G is arguably the first flip-style foldable to really bring the design to the masses, boldly claiming the title of most affordable foldable. Nothing comes for free, however, especially in this industry, so we naturally wonder what nubia had to sacrifice to meet such an unbelievably low price point. We give the nubia Flip 5G a good turn to find out.

Designer: nubia

Aesthetics

Right off the bat, you wouldn’t be able to tell the nubia Flip 5G’s price just from its looks. The word “cheap” has unfortunately acquired a negative reputation, but there is definitely nothing cheap about this phone’s design. Aside from the large black disc on its back, which we’ll get to later, the phone is a poster child for minimalist design, simple yet evocative in its pleasing appearance. There is not a line, edge, or corner out of place, making it exude class and style that would shock you if you knew the price tag it carried.

nubia didn’t skimp on materials either, giving the phone a matte AG glass for its back that not only adds a better grip but also makes the “sparkling sand” surface of the design stand out even more. This is better seen on the Cosmic Black cover which gives you the impression of looking at a starry night sky, while the Sunshine Gold of our review unit gives off a more calming and ethereal presence. The aluminum alloy frame isn’t far behind with its zircon sandblasted finish, adding texture that won’t be easily smudged by fingerprints.

Of course, the nubia Flip 5G needs to have cameras and a second screen on its back, and this is done just as tastefully as the rest of its design. The large black circle is located dead center, giving it symmetry and balance that is admittedly becoming less common in smartphone designs, foldable or otherwise. Once the screen lights up, however, that darkness becomes something like a window to another world, a technological equivalent of the porthole of old ships. This gives the phone a completely different vibe from other clamshell foldables that, while not unattractive, tend to focus more on the technical functionality at the expense of overall design.

Ergonomics

Foldable phones promise a different level of usability and flexibility, but they also demand some changes in the way we use phones. For example, we need to open them up to be able to fully utilize their functions, but the external screen also offers some interactions while the phone is closed. Being able to comfortably and confidently hold such a device in both forms is even more important with foldables than it is for regular, flat smartphones.

Fortunately, the nubia Flip 5G delivers exactly that, and in both forms no less. Holding the folded phone is the easiest thing to do with one hand, and you don’t even have to turn the block around because the external display will automatically adjust itself depending on how you’re holding it. Whether your top is bottom or your bottom is top, you can instantly dive into the notifications, controls, or the camera without having to turn it right side up.

That said, the nubia Flip 5G is admittedly taller and wider than other flip phones, so those with smaller hands might have even more difficulty using it with a single hand. The flat, textured edges help with the grip, but reaching for the other side of the screen with your thumb will still be a tedious task. Then again, most phones these days really take single-handed use for granted, so it’s not exactly alone in this area.

Performance

So far, the nubia Flip 5G seems to punch above its price when it comes to design and comfort, so it raises the question of how the brand was able to push that price tag so low. The answer, if you haven’t guessed it already, is in the hardware. It’s not terrible, mind you, but you would do well to manage your expectations that this isn’t a $1,000 phone.

If you were to really put the flip phone in a box, you would file it under the “mid-range” category. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor it uses is from way back in 2022, and its 8GB of RAM sounds almost meager. Fortunately, this combination has enough silicon muscle to drive a fluid and responsive user experience (especially if you boost the RAM by 12GB by taking away some internal storage space), so you might not even notice the difference. Yes, games need to be set to medium or lower, and certain activities will really raise the temperatures, but there are no show-stopping flaws that would make you throw the phone in frustration.

Even better, the 6.9-inch 120Hz OLED foldable display is actually impressive in its brightness and performance. You’ll have to fiddle with the refresh rate settings to get the right speed you want, but the screen is no joke when it comes to responsiveness and colors. Thanks to the phone’s hinge design, you’ll hardly see the crease unless you intentionally go looking for it. Your finger with definitely feel its existence, but you’ll barely notice it in day-to-day operations. The 1.43-inch circular OLED screen on the back shares these same properties, minus the flexibility, but its small size looks odd when placed side-by-side with other flip phones. At the same time, however, this allows nubia to craft simpler, more beautiful, and less distracting experiences rather than giving you another phone on the back of your phone.

In addition to older hardware, the nubia Flip 5G also runs MyOS 13 which is based on, you guessed it, Android 13. We’re past the time when new devices would come out with old Android versions, so this comes as a bit of a surprise. In 6 months, Android 15 will also be out, making this version very old in terms of features and bug fixes. What makes the situation a little worse is that we’re not confident about nubia’s track record in pushing timely updates, so new owners of this foldable phone might be stuck with the same Android version for a long time.

Battery life is a bit of a mixed bag. On paper, its 4,310mAh capacity is definitely the highest in this foldable category, but the older technology of the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is less battery-efficient, so it all evens out at the end. The 33W charging speed, however, makes up for its short battery life, letting you get as much as a 50% charge in just 15 minutes. In other words, you’ll still be charging almost every night, despite having a bigger battery capacity.

nubia’s cost-cutting strategy, however, really shows when it comes to the cameras. The 16MP front-facing camera is serviceable and takes OK selfies, but for all intents and purposes, you’ll probably end up using the main 50MP camera even for the latter. There are two sensors on the back of the nubia Flip 5G, but you can actively use only one of them as the 2MP camera is really just a depth sensor. That means you’ll be relying on that lone 50MP shooter for everything, including a 2x lossless digital zoom. And yes, there is no ultra-wide camera at all.

While megapixel count isn’t always everything, it still matters when that’s all you really have. In practice, the nubia Flip 5G’s lone camera is like a hero, doing everything to the best of its abilities, even when it sometimes fails. Images are passable and at least have enough details to make the mark. Colors, however, can sometimes look a bit washed out or dull, and there is a clear loss of detail when you zoom in. There’s no OIS, so you’ll have to make sure your subject stays still for a second or two. On the upside, this rear camera takes great portrait photos with pleasing blurs and correct separation of subject and background. With so many smartphones boasting impressive photography chops, the nubia Flip 5G sadly comes up glaringly short of expectations. Then again, it’s not exactly that shocking given how much you’re paying for it anyway.

Sustainability

Compared to regular phones, foldable phones are still infants, and some brands are just as new to playing this game. In that sense, it’s really not surprising that using more sustainable materials is probably the farthest from their minds at this point. They first want to establish the durability and reliability of their design before they change the formula to boast about the use of recycled plastics and metal. The nubia Flip 5G is no different in this regard.

That said, it naturally takes the topic of durability very seriously, even if it doesn’t make any guarantees about even being splash-proof, let alone waterproof and dustproof. The waterdrop-style hinge that allows it to fold completely flat does come with the claim of having withstood more than 200,000 folding and unfolding actions. There is a bit of a crunching sound when opening and folding the phone, though, but that’s probably more from how rigid the hinge is rather than anything breaking inside.

Value

If this were a regular smartphone, we’d consider it pretty basic to the point of being disappointing and leave it at that. But the nubia Flip 5G isn’t your regular smartphone, not by a long shot. It’s hardly the first clamshell-style foldable phone either, but it’s definitely the most affordable one in this specific category. It starts at $499 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but $699 will get you double that memory. When you consider that something like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 starts at $1,000, then it’s really no contest.

That said, nubia’s real competition would come from its peers, like the TECNO Phantom V Flip launched last year. Yes, the $600 price tag puts it above the nubia Flip 5G, but it also comes with some important upgrades, like a more recent processor, faster charging, and more importantly, a better camera system that includes an ultra-wide shooter. It all boils down to how much you’re willing to cut out for a basic foldable experience, and you might be surprised at how much the nubia Flip 5G is able to deliver for less.

Verdict

Foldable phones are here to stay, though it’s taking quite some time for them to become the norm. Part of it is because of consumer hesitation regarding seemingly fragile devices, but an even bigger factor is the price attached to such products that may easily break from the slightest accident. Offering an affordable yet decent foldable phone goes a long way in allaying fears, and the nubia Flip 5G is the commendable hero that is bravely paving the way for others like it.

The $499 price tag for a foldable phone is nothing short of tempting, but it also raises questions about what corners were cut to get there. The camera story is definitely disappointing, as is the use of somewhat older hardware and software. None of these, however, take away from the truth that the nubia Flip 5G is a surprisingly decent foldable smartphone for its price. If you want to sink your teeth into this still-young device category but are too reluctant to spend too much on it, the nubia Flip 5G is definitely a great way to get started, as long as you set your expectations right.

The post nubia Flip 5G Foldable Phone Review: Finally, A Foldable Phone You Can Afford first appeared on Yanko Design.

Google Pixel Fold 2: News, Rumors, Price, and Release Date

Despite developing an operating system that’s used on a variety of devices and computers, Google has practically snubbed anything other than a smartphone. It’s notorious for having a love-hate relationship with tablets, for example, so it was a bit of a surprise that Google would launch its own foldable device. Perhaps even more surprising is how it might actually release a second-gen foldable phone. Given its pedigree, the next Google foldable is definitely going to pique people’s curiosity, whether it will be called the Pixel Fold 2 or the Pixel 9 Pro Fold. Judging from what we’ve been hearing so far, this foldable phone will be undergoing several significant changes, though not all of them might appeal to Pixel fans and onlookers alike.

Designer: Google (renders courtesy of Smartprix, @OnLeaks)

Google Pixel Fold 2: Design

For three generations since the Pixel 6 in 2021, Google seemed to have settled on a signature design that, unusual as it may have been, gave its phones a unique personality. It seems, however, that Google has gotten tired of that look and will be moving to a different design for the Pixel 9 series. For better or for worse, that change is apparently happening to the foldable version of the Pixel as well, but not in the same way as leaks and renders would have it.

The camera bump, which was a horizontal bar across the width of the Pixel Fold’s “back,” has now been reduced to a more conventional rectangle. But unlike the ones you’d see on other smartphones, Google opted for an odd horizontal layout, with black pill-shaped markings that hold the actual camera lenses. It’s definitely an unusual design, but unlike the current “visor” shape, many might find it visually unappealing.

Fortunately, there will be even more important design changes in store for the Pixel Fold 2 (or Pixel 9 Pro Fold), though they might be a bit more subtle. According to rumors and at least one leaked prototype, the next Google foldable will have an outer screen that is taller than its predecessor, yielding an unfolded shape that is more square than the first Pixel Fold as well. Whereas the Pixel Fold had a rectangular shape that resembled a small notebook, the Pixel Fold 2 could be more like a minuscule iPad mini.

This change in screen aspect ratios isn’t just cosmetic and will have important usability implications. It won’t be as tall and narrow as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which is notorious for being almost unusable as a regular phone, but it could make it a bit more awkward to use the Pixel Fold 2 in folded form, at least with a single hand. Those who loved the current wider design of the Pixel Fold might be disappointed, but those who missed using a 16:9 phone will welcome this change.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Google Pixel Fold 2: Specs and Software

With the change in screen aspect ratios come changes in screen sizes as well, and everyone will probably love what’s rumored so far. The Pixel Fold 2/Pixel 9 Pro Fold is expected to have bigger screens on both sides, though there is some agreement on the exact sizes. Some claim that the external Cover Screen will be 6.4 inches and the main foldable screen will be 7.9 inches, while another source uses 6.29 inches and 8.02 inches for those same screens, respectively. Either way, it will still be a significant size boost compared to the current Pixel Fold’s 5.8-inch exterior and 7.6-inch interior displays.

As far as the hardware is concerned, Google might debut a new Tensor G4 on the Pixel Fold 2, a very big leap from the Tensor G2 on the OG Pixel Fold. Details on this new processor are still extremely slim at this point, but you can expect significant performance improvements, especially on Google’s favorite AI features. Uncharacteristically, Google might also be extra generous and give the Pixel Fold 2 as much as 16GB of RAM, something that even the Galaxy Z Fold 6 isn’t expected to have.

There seems to be some disagreement on which version of Android the Pixel Fold 2 will ship with, but that mostly depends on when the foldable device will actually launch. It could go with Android 14, which is the current version in circulation, or it could delay it to coincide with the release of Android 15. Pushing the Pixel 9 Pro Fold’s launch to the end of the year might sound unreasonable, but there might be one very good reason for doing so. Android 15 betas have revealed that Google implemented improvements to the behavior of apps on foldable phones, something that its Pixel Fold badly needed.

Google Pixel Fold 2: Cameras

It’s a bit surprising that there hasn’t been any news on the kind of cameras that the Pixel Fold 2 will bear. The new camera design on the back may look like Google was making room for an additional camera, but the lack of news in that department suggests otherwise. In short, the new Pixel Fold may still be using the exact same three sensors as the current model, with some additional lenses for focusing or maybe a thermal sensor for taking temperatures. It wouldn’t be unheard of for Google, since it prefers to rely on software solutions to improve image quality.

Another big camera design change will be the internal selfie camera which used to sit on the Pixel Fold’s ugly thick bezels. According to leaks and renders, the Pixel Fold 2 will do away with those atrocities, which means there’s a need to move the camera to a different place. The consensus is that it will take the form of an under-display camera similar to the Galaxy Z Fold, but it’s also possible Google will opt for a simpler solution that has a traditional punch-hole cutout for the camera.

Google Pixel Fold 2: Price and Release Date

Although the Pixel Fold 2, or Pixel 9 Pro Fold, will be advertised as an upgrade, it doesn’t seem like a huge generational leap if not for the difference in design and the new Tensor G4 processor. As such, it’s probably only reasonable to expect that the price tag won’t go higher than the $1,800 that the first Pixel Fold launched with. At the same time, it’s also not expected to go lower than that either.

As for its launch date, that could depend on whether Google wants to delay it to sync with Android 15’s release. If it’s fine with having it run Android 14 out of the box, it could follow the same schedule last year that saw the Pixel Fold hit shelves in June. Otherwise, we might be looking at an October date after Android 15 goes gold. Either way, we’ll definitely find out more next month when Google reveals the real deal at I/O 2024.

Google Pixel Fold 2: Final Thoughts

The first Pixel Fold was definitely a surprise for Google fans. It managed to carry some of the personality of the Pixel design language to a foldable phone, along with Google’s blessed flavor of the Android user experience. At the same time, however, it really failed to stand up to other options in the market, and its very thick bezels were a big turn-off for more design-conscious consumers.

Fortunately, the Pixel Fold 2 will be improving on those pain points, but it raises the question of whether it’s actually enough or if they’re the right changes to make. The screens will be larger and have thinner bezels, but Google is also moving away from an aspect ratio that was praised by some reviewers as one of its winning traits. The camera design will definitely be divisive, especially if it doesn’t bring significant improvements to the camera system anyway. While the Pixel Fold 2, or Pixel 9 Pro Fold, will catch the attention of Pixel fans and market watchers, it might not end up being the big hit that Google wants it to be, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of low sales that will lead to the early demise of Google’s foldable phone line.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: News, Rumors, Price, and Dates

Foldable phones aren’t going anywhere, at least not yet. They might not be generating much hype nowadays, but they still stir up a flurry whenever a new model launches. There’s definitely plenty of room for improvement not just in specs but also in design, and we indeed see some brands playing around with those elements a bit. Although there are now more foldable phones available, Samsung is still the undisputed leader even if by virtue of its industry clout only. Of course, its dominance is being challenged by competitors whose designs are addressing many of the flaws and limitations of the Galaxy Z Fold, which is why all eyes are on how Samsung will respond in kind this year. We might be just three months away from the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, so we’ve gathered in one place all the details we know so far to paint a more complete picture of what to expect from one of the pioneers of this still niche market.

Designer: Samsung (renders courtesy of Smartprix and Steve Hemmerstoffer/@OnLeaks)

Galaxy Z Fold 6: Design

The way a foldable phone works sounds almost so easy, but the reality is that it’s a hellish design to implement given the delicate balancing act that designers and engineers have to make. How do you design a smartphone that can be as big as a small tablet yet still be comfortable to use as a regular phone? To be perfectly blunt, Samsung failed to hit the mark with its first generation of foldables, but it seems to be inching closer to a better solution with each iteration.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Designer: Samsung

According to the accumulated leaks and rumors, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be making some rather small but significant changes to the formula. There are some disagreements on exact figures, but the consensus is that Samsung’s 2024 large foldable will have a wider external Cover Screen, a thinner and lighter frame, flatter edges, and sharper corners. These minuscule changes all add up to make the Galaxy Z Fold 6 resemble its Galaxy S cousin more.

The wider outer display will have a big impact on usability, even if the screen size itself doesn’t change. The new aspect ratio would make the phone less awkward to use as a regular phone when folded, one of the biggest and still present criticisms of Samsung’s foldable design. This does mean that the unfolded shape will be more square this time, resembling the form that other foldable phones have taken. That said, based on some of the leaked measurements, it will still not be as wide as the Google Pixel Fold or OnePlus Open which are considered to have the better design on this aspect.

Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold

Designer: Google

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 is also expected to be thinner (5.6mm folded, 12.1mm unfolded) and lighter (239g) than any of its predecessors. This improvement is, again, based on the design of the Galaxy Z Fold before it (6.1mm folded, 13.4mm unfolded, 253g weight), but not against other brands. The recently launched Honor Magic V2 probably holds the title of thinnest and lightest foldable, but its limited availability makes that pointless for some markets. One side effect of a thinner body, however, is that there will still be no room for an integrated S Pen, something Samsung loyals have been wishing for since the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design

Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design

Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design

Designer: Honor

There are rumors of an “ultra” model for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 where Samsung will pull out most of the stops. If true, this could be a titanium-clad model, in line with the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the general trend in the industry. Of course, this would also raise prices higher, especially if the so-called Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra will include other upgrades as well.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 6: Specs and Software

Samsung always gives its flagship products the best specs available in the market, and the Galaxy Z Fold 6 won’t be any different. The question, however, is whether Samsung’s idea of “best” matches the expectations of buyers. This year, we’ll be looking at another iterative upgrade, and some consumers might not be that amused.

The latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is a no-brainer for a 2024 flagship, and we haven’t heard any whispers of a special version custom-made for Samsung or the foldable. What might not see a big jump, however, is the memory that comes with the phone. RAM will be capped at 12GB yet again, with storage coming in 256GB and 512GB capacities. It’s probably high time that we get a 16GB RAM, 1TB storage Galaxy Z Fold, but that might not be on the table unless those “Ultra” model rumors pan out.

The battery is yet another aspect that is unlikely to see any changes. Although a 4,600mAh battery was earlier rumored, a thinner and lighter design would probably make more sense if Samsung sticks to the same 4,400mAh pack. Unfortunately, charging technologies aren’t expected to change either and new owners will be stuck with the same 25W wired and 15W wireless charging speeds.

Given the expected timing of the launch, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be launching with the latest One UI 6.1 version that will still be based on the current Android 14 release. It will mostly be the same user experience on the Galaxy S24, just with some foldable-specific features mixed in. Do expect that Samsung will heavily advertise AI features as well, especially those that it wasn’t able to focus on earlier this year.

Galaxy Z Fold 6: Cameras

While the incremental upgrades to specs can be forgiven, the biggest Achilles’ heel of this year’s Samsung foldable will be its cameras. Contrary to expectations and wishes, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is now believed to use the exact same set of cameras that came with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 last year. That means a 50MP main camera, a 10MP 3x zoom telephoto, and a 12MP ultra-wide. The under-display camera under the foldable screen is expected to see performance improvements but still have the same 4MP sensor.

While it’s true that you can squeeze out impressive images from such sensors using software and algorithms, you can only go so far with relatively weaker hardware. The bigger question is why Samsung is unable to use better cameras when almost all its competitors can. Thickness is definitely not an issue and it’s not like Samsung’s foldables are less expensive than other foldables, so one can only wonder about the company’s reasons.

OPPO Find N3

OPPO Find N3

OPPO Find N3

Designer: OPPO

That said, it could be setting the stage for the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra that’s said to resemble the Galaxy S24 Ultra in some ways. In addition to a titanium frame, this Ultra foldable might borrow the 200MP camera of Samsung’s early 2024 flagship. That, however, might mean changing the foldable phone’s dimensions, particularly its thickness, so there’s a very slim chance that will be the case.

Galaxy Z Fold 6: Price and Launch Date

Samsung seems to be holding its second Galaxy Unboxed event earlier each year, especially now that it has retired the Galaxy Note line. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 was announced in late July last year, with the actual shipments starting around August. This year might follow the same pattern with the announcement happening around the second week of July. This earlier date might also be due to Samsung trying to avoid clashing with the 2024 Summer Olympics, where it could be a major sponsor and advertise the Galaxy Z Fold 6 heavily during the event.

We’re not expecting any price changes this year at least, especially since there aren’t any big changes happening. The past few foldable flagships launched at $1,800, and that could still be the same starting price for a 12GB RAM, 256GB storage configuration. That said, if there is an Ultra model, the pricing scheme could shift a bit and be a bit more complicated. The base Galaxy Z Fold 6 could start at $1,700 instead, while the Ultra model with its titanium design and higher specs might hit $2,000.

Galaxy Z Fold 6: Final Thoughts

It looks like Samsung fans will be facing another iterative cycle this year as far as the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is concerned. While there will be marked improvements in terms of performance and design, some of the pain points current owners have remained unaddressed. Hopefully, the wider Cover Screen aspect ratio will indeed improve the phone’s overall usability, the change might be a bit too subtle to matter. Photography is where the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will hurt the most, and Samsung has to prove that it can pull out a rabbit from its hat using these aging camera sensors.

Although Samsung leads the smartphone industry because of its wide reach and prestige, it is risking that advantage by sitting on its laurels for too long in the foldable market. Although some of its competitors aren’t available in major markets where Samsung plays, they do drive home the flaws in Samsung’s design. If these brands can achieve something that a giant like Samsung can’t, then people will start losing confidence in the brand’s products, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of weaker sales for the Galaxy Z Fold line.

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Origami-inspired table concept folds into a lamp to save space

Tables are important pieces of furniture in any human space, whether it’s the dining table at home or a meeting table at the office. That said, we don’t always use these flat horizontal surfaces all the time, and there will be times when they’re just taking up precious space. Yes, more aesthetic tables do provide some visual value, but it doesn’t outweigh the cost of their presence. Foldable tables are practical, but few actually look good even when unfolded and the hassle of moving the folded table out of the way makes them less compelling. But what if you didn’t need to put the table away because it not only becomes more compact but also serves a different purpose? That’s the kind of multi-functional design that this concept proposes, turning a table into a lamp.

Designer: Sonakshi Gupta

The Japanese art of folding paper has inspired many designs because of its beauty, simplicity, and space efficiency. A large and flat sheet of paper can suddenly become a geometric flower or swan with a few folds, significantly reducing the area that the piece of paper once occupied. This art doesn’t involve removing or adding parts, which makes each piece an independent and standalone unit.

LightUP is a concept that takes inspiration from origami and kirigami (which does involve cutting away and gluing pieces together) to design a table that not only saves space but also provides a completely different functionality or two. The squarish wooden tabletop folds up into a shape that’s like a flower bud, freeing up the space around the table for use. Thanks to ingenious invisible hinges, not only do you have a clean and flat table surface but moving only one or two corners is enough to fold and unfold the table. The easier you can perform this action, the more frequently you’re willing to do it.

Of course, that’s not where it all ends. The design’s name comes from the fact that wide LED light strips from the pyramidal base of the table to each of the four corners. Thus, the table becomes a room-wide lamp at night but can also remain as a space-saving art object when the lights are off.

Admittedly, the design’s implementation is actually more complicated than it looks thanks to the moving parts and hinges involved. Those may become points of failure over time due to wear and tear. The idea, however, could give birth to a simpler design, one that takes into account aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability altogether for a truly space-saving piece of furniture.

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Concept laptop and tablet adapts to your mobile working needs

As we continue to be more mobile in terms of where we work and study, gadgets and devices are adjusting to users’ needs and wants. More often than not, laptops and tablets are the devices of choice as it allows us to work wherever we want, oftentimes at cafes and shared or co-working spaces or sometimes even while commuting. There are already a lot of options out there but we continue to look at concepts that can bring even more improvements to our nomad working lifestyle.

Designer: Lee Seung-Hee

This concept laptop called LT-1 aims to solve the pain point of having a disorganized work environment when you’re working outside or having several gadgets with you even as you have limited space and are continuously mobile. What we need is to have a device that is efficient, practical, can adjust to our needs, and can multi-task just like what we’re probably doing. What they came up with is a minimalist looking laptop that has several functionalities built into it.

What’s unique about this concept is that you have a sub-display in the keyboard area which can show things that don’t need much of your attention but may be important to know. This includes your music playlist, preview of messages, and even a scheduler if you need to take a quick look at those things. Taking up 1/3 of your keyboard is the multi tablet section which basically serves as your trackpad and a multi-touch surface where you can use your pencil or stylus. It also has something called Mode Change LED although it’s not fully explained what it does. The keyboard itself has shortcut keys and there’s a function bar at the top where you have power key, switch to tablet mode, sound control, and something called “behavioral recording”.

They assume that you’ll use the LT-1 a lot so there’s a chance of overheating. There’s a back vent and a side vent to help with that as one of the ideas for this laptop and tablet in one is that it will remain cool. As a concept, this is pretty interesting but the actual execution may be challenging, and maybe even expensive. Let’s see how far the LT-1 Concept Laptop can get and if we’ll eventually see it in the market.

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