Dual-Screen Phones: Evolution or Destined for the Junk Pile?

Something is happening in the world of mobile phones. You can choose to dismiss it, or you can see it as a bold new era, but you cannot ignore it. We are entering the generation of the dual-screen smartphone, which is driving a major change in the way in which we view and use mobile devices.

In fact, dual-screen and folding phones are pushing mobile technology through its biggest evolution since dumb feature phones became smart over a decade ago. In this article, I am going to explain why dual-screen phones are the future of the smartphone world, but why those who say the tech is “right here and right now” are wrong.  

Yes, dual-screen tech is the change the mobile market needed, but now is not the time to buy into the revolution!

What Is a Dual-Screen Phone?

As the name suggests, any device that has two screens is essentially a dual-screen phone. Perhaps the best current example of a true twin-display smartphone is Microsoft’s new Surface Duo. It is designed to look like a book, with a completely bare outer shell and two separate screens inside.

However, there are also some variations on the dual-screen theme. Folding phones are also classed as dual-screen, despite a handset like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or the Motorola Razr 5G only having a single display. These devices use folding screen tech to deliver a twin-display experience, even if there is only one panel.

Then there is the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, a smartphone that is something different. It too has a folding screen, allowing it to be used like a single display tablet or a dual-screen unit. It also has a screen on the outer shell. Does that make it a three-display smartphone? I am not sure, but Samsung classes it as a dual-screen device.

What are the Best Features of Dual-Screen Phones?

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. All the dual-screen smartphones look fantastic, with the Surface Duo and Galaxy Fold 2 especially standing out. However, when we scratch below the surface of these devices, there is a clear problem. Specifically, many of the benefits of what dual-screen tech can bring are not mature enough yet.

Because of their very nature, dual-screen phones provide a boost in productivity. For example, you can sit a device in a laptop-like position and use one display for the content and the other as a keyboard. Multi-tasking is the biggest change dual-screens promise, allowing you to have multiple apps and connected services open.

Sounds good, right? Well, all that is on paper because in many instances the app ecosystem has not caught up to the idea of dual screens. Until apps optimize, the multitasking and productivity promised by these products remain niche.

That means the best features on dual-screen phones remain the screen quality, camera, and UI. Yes, the very same features you would look for on a regular smartphone. And here’s the uncomfortable truth, standard smartphone flagships from Apple, Samsung, Google, and others, still deliver better displays, better cameras, and better overall experiences.

What Are the Price Points of Dual-Screen Phones? 

Dual-screen phones represent a juxtaposition in the smartphone market. They are bleeding edge technology from a hardware perspective, so their price reflects that. However, they are also simply not as good all-round products as a standard smartphone flagship. As such, the price point of dual and folding screen devices is hard to take.

For example, Microsoft’s Surface Duo costs $1,399, more than flagships from Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, or any other brand. Yes, the Duo is a sumptuous piece of design, but it is also in some respects a failure. Certainly, it has a “first-generation product” written all over it. Whether it’s the frankly embarrassing camera or the shaky software and gesture controls, the Surface Duo needs more years to become a refined experience.

And then there’s the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, a device that has had the benefit of a first-gen attempt and looks better for it. This second iteration is a good smartphone with plenty of quality. However, I would say its hinge technology still looks ugly and the crease in the screen is still too distracting. Oh yes, the Galaxy Fold 2 costs around $2,000!

Spoiler alert: it is not worth it.

How Do Dual-Screen Phones Compare to Traditional Smartphones? 

Not very well is the real answer. There is not a single dual-screen or folding phone that is “better” than a standard flagship. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 2 is perhaps the closest, but it is not even near the quality, usability, and design of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Microsoft would have you believe its Surface brand is a rival to Apple, and in the PC realm, it probably is. However, the admittedly stunning Surface Duo is a lame competitor next to the iPhone 12.

What I ask myself when reviewing any dual-screen smartphone is how would the product hold up if it only had a single screen? The answer is whether it’s the Galaxy Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip, Motorola Razr, or the Surface Duo, all these handsets would be firmly in the mid-range if they have a single display. Yet, as consumers, we must pay above flagship costs for them!

If you want to be on the curve of bleeding edge, that’s the compromise you need to make. For the average consumer, it is not worth it.

So, We Should Ignore Dual-Screen Phones?

This is where I am going to send some mixed messages. You probably should ignore dual-screen phones, at least for the time being. However, that does not mean this form factor or type of phone is going away. In fact, it is the future.

But that’s part of the problem, it is not worth paying thousands of dollars for the future. You want a device that works seamlessly now and not one that promises to be good in 2023. Of course, there are some people who love to have the latest and greatest. Fine, but most consumers want a smartphone that looks good, works, and without compromises. At the moment, dual-screen handsets are full of compromises.

This form factor is not ready to take over the smartphone world just yet, so wait two or three years for improvements across software, hardware, and price before buying. 

 

“The Death of Conversation” Due to Smartphones Through The Eyes of One Photographer

The over attachment of people to their smartphones isn’t much of a surprise in this day and age. But being quite guilty of this ourselves, we seldom notice its true effects as seen from an outsider’s point of view. This is precisely why Babycakes Romero, a London-based photographer, took on this project he calls “The Death of Conversation.”

In an interview, the photographer was quoted saying,

“I saw that smartphones were becoming a barrier to communication in person. I saw how people used it as a social prop to hide their awkwardness, to fill the silence, but as I continued to observe and document this modern phenomenon I felt that the devices were actually causing the awkwardness and the silence. They basically allow people to withdraw rather than engage.”

It’s also quite interesting to note that these subjects didn’t even noticed they were being photographed, since they were “plugged in to a virtual world of their making.” Whether it’s about assessing our social etiquette or recognising the importance of personal interactions, these photos could serve as a wake up call to look into our own actions and how the many times that we pick up our smartphones affect our daily lives.

 

Source: via Buzzfeed

Mobile Carrier Slavery Is Over, Unlocking Smartphones Is Legal!

A tectonic shift has been made in the US Smartphone world after the president signed a bill that made it legal to unlock smartphones and free the shackles that bound you to a specific carrier. The bill essentially revives a rule that the Library of Congress issued in 2010 but did not renew in 2012 exempting phone unlocking from the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

Though there maybe a plethora of reasons for unlocking your phone taking deep consideration is necessary before acting on such a decision. Here are a few instances in which unlocking your smartphone may be useful.

  1. You want a pre-paid plan, not a traditional carrier plan.
  2. Your contract is up (or void) and you want to hop to a different carrier.
  3. You need to travel internationally.
  4. You want to sell your phone on eBay and get a little more cash for it.

The list above isn’t an exhaustive one as the possibilities are vast. However here are some ways to unlock your smartphone as well as things you might want to consider.

1. Ensure your phone isn’t already unlocked – Some phones come factory unlocked. If you bought your phone void of contract then you are most likely in possession of an unlocked phone. Not sure? You can call your mobile provider to find out.

2. Purchase an unlocked phone – You can save yourself all the trouble from the get go by purchasing an unlocked smartphone. Google’s Play device store features a variety of unlocked phones. Apple fanatics would also be glad to know this option is also available. The iPhone 5S is available for purchase starting at US$649.

3. Contemplate Switching Carriers – This may not seem like such a big deal but in truth it can be. T-Mobile and AT&T both operate on GSM Networks which use SIM Cards whilst Sprint and Verizon are typically CDMA carriers which are not SIM compatible.

4. Ask your carrier – There is generally no safer way to unlock a smartphone than to simply ask your mobile carrier. In most cases this can be as simple as calling them to request the code which you will receive once your request is approved.

5. External Source – For every “clean-cut” way to do something there is always a “street-style” alternative and this is no different with smart phones. Visiting your local phone repair shop or browsing the web for phone unlocking websites can yield similar results.

Your Body Is Your New Password

Pretty soon, new ingestible pills and wearable technologies will turn your body into a hyper personalized password for future devices and tech gadgets.

Yes that’s right, we are talking about ‘eat technology’ – difficult to hack that! The idea is to take a single pill that will act as a password app  in your body, and serve as a medical device as well. It will monitor all your health activities and stats.

Additionally, the biosensors that play a role in the diagnosis of the entire body would act as a password – a key to all your gadgets and devices. No more retina scans and biometric verifications, since your whole body works as a complete password for unlocking everything you want. The pill will be capable of opening your home door as soon as you grab the handle, Plus it will unlock the passwords to your smartphone. But hey, maybe in the future our body will also be our smartphone making the need for passwords totally redundant.

Philips HUE – Your New Colorful Bulb

Previously LIFX unveiled the concept of multi-coloured bulbs and these revolutionary light bulbs were controlled through smartphones. Now Philips has presented a similar product known as HUE. This smart bulb can let you control the colors, intensity, brightness and shade through an iPhone or an iPad. You can also  capture an image using your smart device and then just by selecting the colours from that image with your fingers, you can use the same color for your bulb.  The smart bulb also allows  to monitor lights remotely when you are outside home. This can help you in managing security of your house. Moreover the catchy thing about these bulbs is that they have 80 percent less power consumption compared to a regular bulb. These smart LED bulbs are now also available at Apple stores.

Check out the video below.

Samsung Vs Apple – Who Is Winning

Samsung has been doing great in smartphones lately. Remarkably, the company has made record breaking profits in Q3 2012, they also led in global smartphone shipments last year. Samsung latest smartphone, the Galaxy S3 has also seen huge sucess and according to the latest stats, out of five weeks, four weeks were S3’s best selling weeks.

The only concern for the South Korean company was the launch of Apple’s next device i.e iPhone 5. Many consumers were holding fire to buy the new phone, as they wanted to see the offering of Apple. Upon the unveiling of iPhone 5, there was a mixed response.While iPhone 5 did sell in numbers, there was a major shift over of many consumers towards Samsung.

Now despite the big success, Samsung made $7.4 Billion profit whereas Apple made $8.2 Billion net profit during the same time.This seems strange as Samsung has a larger market share and has apparently shipped more devices than Apple but it is all explained by the fact that Apple’s per device margin is way higher.
Samsung Galaxy S3 is still expected to sell more in holiday season. Moreover, the latest Galaxy Note 2 will give Samsung a big boost in market and as far as we can see it will definitely set new records for Samsung!

Gameklip – The New Controller For Smartphone Gaming

We all know how annoying it gets when playing some HD game on our smartphones; the touch analog becomes pretty uncomfortable. So instead enjoying the experience, you get irritated. To solve the problem of these on-screen controls, an adapter known as GAMEKLIP has been made. This is actually an analog controller gripper in which you can plugin your Play Station Dual Shock controller; the assembly helps fitting the phone with it and holds tight the controller.

GAMEKLIP comes in two versions; one is wired and one wireless. Additionally, you’ll need to install an app called “Sixaxis Controller” to make it work. Check out the video below and before making up your mind to buy this product, check here whether your phone is supported or not.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wiek3pgBxqk&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Top 10 Touchscreen Phones for 2012

Innovation, adaptability, improvisation and proficiency comprised together to give birth to a new generation of cell phones which are more advanced, capable of doing multitasking at an elevated speed, allows you to have a full control over your business whenever you are on the go. This evolution led the formation of new class of cell phones named smart phones.

10. LG Optimus Black

Starting from our number ten its LG Optimus Black, one of the world’s slimmest and lightest Android Smartphones, the LG Optimus Black has a radically brighter 4-inch LCD screen. By using LG’s very own NOVA display expertise, the screen is intended to be the brightest, clearest and most decipherable among mobile screens. The crystal clear display not only lets users see the screen in direct sunlight but also provides a more natural web browsing experience by displaying truer colors.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS3jcb3js24[/youtube]

9. LG Optimus 3D

The LG Optimus 3D might escort in a new era of mobile phones. Outfitted with a screen that is competent of showing 3D content without the need for wearing 3D glasses, the Optimus 3D is truthfully a pioneering machine.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xoka0HOCXQ[/youtube]

8. HTC Sensation XE

HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio is powered by a scorching fast 1.5 GHz dual core processor. A 4.3 inch expansive HD display brings you an unparalleled movie watching experience when you are on the go. Powered by Android OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread), 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, Adreno 220 GPU, Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon an 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash camera and 768 MB RAM.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOrU6V6BSUY[/youtube]

Sixth Fastest-Rising Google Search Of 2011 Is ‘iPhone 5’

For the year 2011, Google has released its annual Zeitgeist feature and as was the case with the highlights of last year, Apple and its products have appeared amongst the top searches made this year.

In the survey, term “iPhone 5” has been ranked sixth fastest-rising search on a global basis in the highest-profile ranking. As per Google, the searches for “iPhone 5” increased by 1,658% between 2010 and 2011, with September being the month of its peak.  The major reasons behind such high search rate are believed to be the never ending speculations about the launch of iPhone 5 and the later than usual launch of iPhone this year.

Google notes, “Consumers and analysts alike anticipated the release of Apple’s newest smartphone many months prior to its arrival. Rumored features included a larger screen, edge-to-edge glass, an 8 megapixel camera, and extensive voice controls. Many believed the phone would be called the iPhone 5.”

Report: iPhone 4 And 3GS Are The Best-Selling U.S. Smartphones

Research firm NPD has published its new Mobile Phone Track report for the Q2 of 2011, indicating Android to lead, as before, the U.S. smartphone market with 52% of new sales during the quarter while Apple’s iPhone found the second spot with 29%.

According to the report, Apple’s 14-month old iPhone is leading the market in sales, however, what’s even more interesting is that iPhone 3Gs that has been out there in the market for more than two years now is the second best-selling smartphone despite the Apple tax.

The top five best-selling phones during Q2 are as under:

1. Apple iPhone 4
2. Apple iPhone 3GS
3. HTC EVO 4G
4. HTC Inspire 4G
5. Samsung INTENSITYII

The most intriguing thing about this report is that Apple has, with the help of massive promotion and price cuts, managed to maintain its grip on the market without introducing a new iPhone in the summer.