April 2019/Issue 94
If we actually stop to think about the intricacies of smartphones, the data they’re able to store, and all the gear they’re able to replace, it’s almost too much for our measly mammalian brains to handle. But if we instead look at the blur of black-faced rectangles released by the major manufacturers in recent years, it’s all a bit whelming at best. Lately, phones have been dull. But this year that’s changing.
We saw some amazing new handsets at (and just before) Mobile World Congress this year, from Samsung’s new three-pronged Galaxy S10 line-up (p38) to Sony’s elongated Xperias (p40) and Nokia’s five-cameras-one-focal-length curiosity (p42). Then there’s LG’s gesture-recognising G8 ThinQ (p46) and the V50 ThinQ with its optional second-display cover. And those are just the phones you might actually buy.
Meanwhile, over in the my-word-how-much column, there’s a pair of folding phone-lets or tab-phones or whatever you want to call these slices of the future their makers have casually dropped into 2019. The Huawei Mate X (p8) folds its tablet-sized display back on itself, while the Samsung Galaxy Fold (p11) folds its biggie inwards instead. Both will cost over R30 000 when they get here later this year, suggesting they’ll only find their way into the lives of well-heeled – and large pocketed – early adopters.
But just imagine what’s to come!? What will folding phones have turned into by MWC 2029? We’re giddy with the possibilities. If 2018 was a ‘tick’ year for phones, 2019 is shaping up to be decidedly ‘tock’. And, as always, we’re watching the clock.