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Huawei’s foldable flip phone has something Samsung should try to copy

Opinion
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Last updated: July 22nd, 2022 at 11:17 UTC+02:00

Foldable phones are set to become all the rage in the coming years, and for some, they already have. As has been made abundantly clear, though, it’s the flip-style foldable phones that are doing more business and not the book style foldables that fold and unfold between a phone and a tablet-sized device.

Many manufacturers have made a foldable flip phone in the past couple of years, including Huawei, the Chinese manufacturer that could have been one of the biggest threats to Samsung had the USA not stopped it in its tracks with trade bans during the Trump administration.

Huawei, as a result, is currently not really doing all that well outside China, but as we grow close to the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4, there’s one feature of Huawei’s flip phone, the P50 Pocket, that I wish the Korean giant would copy: the smartwatch-like cover display.

The cover screen on the original Galaxy Z Flip wasn’t all that useful because of its small size, and while Samsung managed to increase the cover display’s size on the Z Flip 3, you still have to unfold to use the main display to actually do anything. With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, there are rumors that the cover screen will become even bigger, but there’s a question we need to ask: Is there really a point?

Unless the cover screen takes up the entire surface area of one half of a foldable flip phone, will these screens ever become truly large enough to be good for anything but quickly checking notifications, alarms, and the like? Right now, all it seems is that these cover screens are taking up precious space that could be used for buffing up the camera specs instead.

Sadly, no manufacturer, Samsung or otherwise, seems too interested in providing proper flagship-level cameras on its folding flip phones. Huawei does manage to provide better cameras specs on the P50 Pocket than any of the Z Flip phones from Samsung, though, and I think one way it was able to do that was by opting for a circular smartwatch-like cover display.

And if you think about it, that’s a neat idea. If these cover displays can’t ever be big enough for proper use, why not just use a smartwatch display on the outside for checking notifications and stuff? I can’t pretend to know the ins and outs of how these devices are designed, but it seems the camera setup on foldable flip phones can benefit from a switch to a circular cover display.

I repeat: I don’t know if the switch from a rectangular display to a circular one can actually help free up enough space for better camera hardware, but I certainly hope it’s something Samsung has tried. If not, maybe it should for the next Galaxy Z Flip so these phones can offer the camera specs we deserve when we’re paying a thousand bucks to own them.

What do you think?

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