(instrumental music) – Folding phones are boring. Look we've had the first wave of foldable devices and they're neat, but you've seen all that already. This is about what comes next after the current generation of foldables. Sling like the tri-fold from TCL, a wild new concept, folding tablet, phone thing. (techno-music) Unlike most foldables the tri-fold has two hinges, which lets it fold up into thirds . You can use it as a phone, you can unfold it once to use as a bigger screen or fold the unfolded into a full size tablet. It's not a half way compromise like some of the other foldables that we've seen which basically turn into just slightly wider phone displays.
This is a full blown tablet. It's nearly as big as an iPad, but you can still fit it in your pocket. The screen folds from a 10 inch tablet down to 6.65 inch phone. You could also open it two-thirds the way and ya know prop that up it'll auto rotate so you can use in whatever orientation you want. There's a lot of weird use cases that you could probably use this for. The screen on this one is a 3k panel, but again that's just this prototype.
We have no idea if the finished version will have that, but the tri-fold shows just how hard it's gonna be to turn these ideas into reality. I've gotten to play around with the prototype for a bit and it's really rough to use right now. It is incredibly heavy for a phone. It's got those big metal hinges and there are three separate batteries to power all those displays, it's basically three phones.
And even though it's really thin as a tablet the phone mode is super thick and that's before your worrying about things like the software, which is basically non-existent. Durability which is a huge question or price which who even knows. (techno music) But looking even further into the future. TCL also had a very early mock up of a rollable phone. This is really cool idea that's a phone that has a fully flexible display that slides around the side and behind the phone. And it could roll back out and become a larger display when you need more space. The way it will, in theory, work is that there's gonna be motors on the inside of the phone and you'll press a button and it'll expand out from a 6.75 inch display to a 7.8 inch screen.
Now that doesn't sound like a lot, but your actually getting almost double the screen space it's almost twice as wide. The whole system is actually pretty similar to the rollable Oled TV that LG's been showing off for years. Now again this is a really early concept, it's not even a functional device, just plastic and a screen that's literally just a sheet of paper.
Is this a good idea? Who knows. It does avoid some of the issues of current foldables, like those easily breakable hinges and the creased display which is cool. But it's almost guaranteed to have issues of its own. Moving parts they're tricky. Now the tri-fold is just a proof of concept and the plastic sliding one even more so. You won't actually be able to buy either of these devices and it's not clear if TCL's actually gonna make products based on these concepts in the future.
So why should you care. Well, first of all, because it's cool. I mean look at this thing it's a phone that unfolds into a giant full size tablet. And it actually turns on and runs android, it's like a science fiction prop. But it's also important, because TCL is planning on eventually making foldable and rollable phones that might actually look like these. Possibly as early as next year. The company says that it's experimenting with dozens of different form factors right now.
So it's possible that phones like these, could be real one day. Look phones have basically been the same for the last decade. Black boxes with touch screens. Devices like the tri-fold or that sliding concept, even if they're not here yet, show off what the future phones might one day look like. And that's really exciting idea. Thanks so much for watching. If you want to see more videos about cool phones check out our Galaxy S20 ultra review. You can actually buy that one.
Check out the review. See if you want to. And like and subscribe for more great videos like this..
Have you ever thought to yourself 'I totally wish my phone could fold in half'? If so, join the club. And if not, now all the wildest dreams you've never had are coming true with the world's first foldable phone you can actually buy. It's called the FlexPai from a company called Royole. It's literally the first phone with a foldable screen that's commercially available. Yeah, Samsung did have one once upon a time, but they still haven't gotten around to actually releasing the Galaxy Fold yet. So I'll believe it when I see it and can actually buy one. Inside the box is whatever this is. And here is the FlexPai with some instructions on how to fold and unfold the phone written on the outer covering. Honestly, I think it looks pretty cool. It feels solid and heavy. I held one of these for the first time at CES this year. But obviously, since that was a demo unit and not my own personal device, I wasn't going to try to see what happens when it's bent both directions.
Today though, this one here is all mine, and there's no one here to stop us. Let's get started. [Intro] Right out of the box there are some confidence diminishing instructions that flash across the screen, like 'only charge the phone with the device unfolded.' And then look here at this massive list of instructions: don't drop it, keep the surface dry and clean, please avoid sharp or pointed objects….uh huh, got it, sure thing. And right below that, it keeps going on to say no screen protectors are allowed, and the phone can't be opened if the temperature is below freezing. It also looks like the side of the phone is super magnetic. This is going to be fun. Opening and closing the phone automatically changes how the apps are displayed on the screen. Magnets are the thing that holds the phone shut in the closed position with a very satisfyingly hard click. The magnets will definitely keep the phone from flopping open on its own.
The hinge of the phone here in the center is covered with a very dark blue rubberish material and held in place by a series of hex screws. It takes up a good portion of the back panel real estate. It looks like one of those wrinkly dogs, or even a slinky that can be bent back and forth. Good luck slapping a dbrand skin on this one. When it does snap closed, it leaves just enough room inside for a pencil to clip into the gap between the back halves. Might be a perfect spot for a future stylus…just saying. The two back panels have a subtle shimmer that we see on most smartphones these days – low key, and it doesn't really draw attention to itself…well, besides the fact that it folds in half.
That's a minor detail of course. You can see how reflective and shiny the screen is as well. The scratch test is going to be super interesting. The weird thing to me though is that the screen is always going to be exposed on the outside of the phone – always. The whole thing is just there…vulnerable. The whole system functions like an Android tablet, but then has the ability to fold closed to be the size of a phone. It also has memory enough to remember which app was open on which side of the phone each time you flip it around. It also has a little center options bar in the fold of the phone.
Honestly, it looks pretty slick. Yeah, the thing is a bit thick, but if it's durable, I could totally see myself using one of these. Trying to think of logical reasons of why I would actually ever need a foldable phone though. It would probably mostly be just watching movies and YouTube since, you know, I spend a lot of time on YouTube. This Flexi-boy can watch videos in full screen mode while the phone is folded. And it can also watch full screen videos in the unfolded mode. Honestly, pretty darn cool. A company called Asurion did a study one time and found that people check their phones on average about 80 times a day. And judging by the amount of people I see texting and driving, I believe that number. Royole says on their website that this phone is good for over 200,000 folds. So if we're unfolding this FlexPai 80 times a day, under perfect conditions of course, this phone would last almost 7 whole years. That's pretty fantastic considering that the Galaxy fold lasted about 7 whole days.
Remember this thing is available to buy right now for a cool $1,300 dollars. Let's see what we get for that. Inside the box we get a SIM card removal tool and a microfiber cloth, some USB-C braided headphones, and a USB-C power cable, and a branded power brick. There's no case or screen protectors inside the box. That's interesting. Now that we know everything is working properly, let's start with the scratch test. Knowing what we know about the laws of physics, it's pretty safe to say that the screen is not going to be made from glass, since glass is glass and glass does not bend.
The surface of the FlexPai has to be made from a flexible optically clear plastic. The hardness level of that plastic though is up for debate. In this particular case we see that the level 2 pick leaves no marks on the screen. But the level 3 pick, as it's applied to the surface of the flattened phone, starts leaving indented grooves all along the whole surface of the display. This is why there were warnings when I first turned on the phone.
The FlexPai gets permanently damaged at a very soft Mohs level 3. This is the main reason having a screen on the outside of the fold is a bad idea. When it's in your pocket, both sides of the screen are rubbing up against the sides of your pocket. And again, when it's folded on a table, one screen side will always be touching something hard. There is no safe zone. Watch as my fingernail can also damage the screen permanently.
This thing is going to get pretty wrecked with every day use – especially since screen protectors are not allowed. Samsung's implementation of having the screen fold up inside the phone is hypothetically the better of the two methods since the closed fold protects the plastic screen. But, you know, their phone also only lasted a week. So you win some, and you lose some. Checking out the top of the FlexPai, moving from the plastic layer up to the top panel, there's a definite ridge.
And that panel is made from glass. My razor is doing no damage to the surface of that at least. The internal magnet is also pulling my razor all over the place. Even holding up my pry tool with its own magical magnetic strength. It's super strong. Probably because that hinge won't let the phone stay closed without it. A little trick I learned from Marquez with this magnet paper. We can see the large rectangular magnet right dead center inside the glass panel. We can also see the two bottom loud speakers in the center of each half. And over there in the bottom corner is the vibration motor, also made from magnets.
There's another large rectangular magnet on the other side of the phone that will keep things shut. Pretty darn cool. We'll take a look at the insides of the FlexPai during the teardown…you know, if it survives the rest of this durability test. There is a dual tone LED flash alongside the dual camera lenses. A 16 megapixel normal camera is paired up with a 20 megapixel telephoto camera. No complaints here. Having multiple cameras that offer different perspectives is really the way to go. That's one of the things I'm looking forward to when I finally upgrade my personal Galaxy S8 Plus. With so many sides to analyze, this might take a minute. The bottom right quadrant has a loudspeaker grill. The bottom has the power button, volume up button, fingerprint scanner, and the volume down button, in that exact order. The fingerprint scanner chilling here in the middle is in a weird spot, but I'm not judging.
Even after scratching up the surface of the scanner, it was still able to read and recognize my fingerprint nearly every single time. The bottom left quadrant has a whole lot of nothing…except more metal. The hinge portion is where things start to get interesting, and we'll talk more about this in a second. But Royole has literally trademarked the name Cicada Wing as the name for this thing. True story: a cicada is a super gross bug, and I have no idea why in the world they would choose that to brand their phone with. I give Apple a hard time about a lot of things, but at least they don't name their phone parts after bugs. The rubber portion has little air pockets in it to allow the flexing between the hinge segments.
The rubber wrinkles sit over the little voids in the hinge…kind of like when Grandma pulls your cheek. It's all kinds of squishy. The top left quadrant has more metal, along with a USB-C charging port and a SIM card tray. It's really nice of Royole to include an SD card slot. Adding movies and media to the large screen will be super easy. The top of the phone has more metal and a few plastic antenna lines. Honestly, the more I see, the more I like. It's a really super fun phone. Checking the back panels where we would normally see glass, this Flexi-boy has large plastic rectangles. The phone is heavy enough that initially I thought the panels were made of glass, but it is not.
My razor blade's making short work of the surface which is actually really good news for us because now I get to tell you more about this vial little cicada bug that Royole is so proudly naming their phone after. No, I don't care about most bugs…they don't bother me, I don't bother them. But cicadas are in a realm all of their own.
These cousins of crickets swarm out of ground every 13 years. Then they shed their crunchy potato chip skin like a snake, grow wings on either side of their body, and then cicadas make an incredibly loud incessant noise by vibrating membranes on their abdomen. [Cicada sounds] That's more annoying than any sound I've ever made. Then the cicadas go lay their eggs in tree branches, which kills the branch, making it fall to the ground where the baby bugs can crawl out into the ground and wait for another 13 years before they can pop out and start the whole process all over again. This is a true story. The cicada wings are slightly separated from one another like the folds of this phone, so I can kind of see why they're named after each other. But still…gross. The bug should be burned. Nailed that transition. The 7.8 inch 1920 x 1440 flexible display lasted about 5 seconds under the heat from my flame. The screen is so thin there's no insulating layer over the pixels to absorb the heat like we see on glass phones.
The flame directly burns the pixels, literally destroying them to the point of no return in 5 seconds. Makes me wonder if impacts or pressure points might do the same to individual pixels, especially since if the folded phone accidentally drops, no matter how it falls, it's going to hit the screen area. It'll be interesting to see how this phone progresses into the wild as more people own it. Now it's time for the bend test. When bending from the front, we get a nice uniform fold along the center of the device, with a satisfying click at the end as the magnets latch together. The screen still rotates to face whatever side is active at the moment. Opening the phone up, we see no permanent kinks or cracks in the frame, thankfully, or this would be pretty awkward since that's the way the phone's supposed to bend. Alright, here's a few more times now, and you know, just from the front because I'm kind of legit nervous and I feel pretty bad about what might happen next.
I've been curious if a tight pants pocket might be able to collapse or crush the folded phone since it has the large gap in the frame. It's kind of just asking for trouble. With a full palm grip and 100% effort trying to crush the phone single handedly – nothing happens. The hinge is intact and the phone is still totally operational. The hardware is going to be uncrushable by the pocket of your skinny jeans. My fingers do not hurt the pixels either, so I'm glad for that. But what happens if the phone is laid flat and grandma sits on it? Well, to be honest, it actually flexes quite a bit in the wrong direction with no damage. Going from the flat 180 degrees all the way to a 270 degree three-quarter circle before the hinge finally snapped in half, breaking at two points. But the phone itself is still turned on and functional, even after bending in the complete opposite and wrong direction. The FlexPai swings both ways. Even with that crack in the hinge, it still folds shut normally. And then when bending back out the wrong direction again, we can see how paper thin the display really is.
Royole is currently putting the same display technology on t-shirts and hats for about $900 each. I do think we gotta be honest here for a second. This thing is lasting a lot longer than we all thought it would. Look how tight this fold gets. Flexible screen technology is pretty amazing. I can literally bend this FlexPai any way I want and it's still functioning. My mind is blown. I don't even really know what to do with myself right now. This thing survived longer than the iPad Pro. Thumbs up for that.
Royole might have just single-handedly made my bend test irrelevant with this invincible foldable display…well, until this happened anyway. One wrong fold at an angle pinched the screen in a way that finally cracked it right down the center. Apparently the display can only be folded along one plane, which makes sense. The structure of the phone hinge got demolished in the first bend, so there wasn't anything there to support the screen from behind. The large gentle curve of that hinge made each folding movement easier on the screen. Even though we've seen the display can handle much tighter creases, having that gentle fold I'm sure preserves longevity.
That one long crack along the center finally did kill the touch sensitivity of the phone as well. But either way, the Royole FlexPai put up a really good fight and I'm downright impressed. I'm a huge fan of this new flexible innovation. Even now in the beginning stages, where it's not totally useful, I think that with normal use, the FlexPai will probably last for quite a while. It almost even won this round. And even though the phone ended up dead, I think we should have a moment of silence for the world's first foldable phone. [Cicada sounds] Do you see yourself using a foldable phone in the future? Also, should we perform an autopsy on the FlexPai to see the insides? Let me know down in the comments. Hit that subscribe button if you haven't already. Come hang out with me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks a ton for watching. I'll see you around..
Hey, everybody. So when most of you guys think of the foldable phone, you think of the Samsung Galaxy Fold; the is the Fold 2, or maybe the Huawei Mate X or maybe Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. But, actually the first phone brand to put out a foldable phone, meaning a foldable OLED screen, was not Samsung, or Huawei. It was a Chinese brand named Royole, I tested the very first phone, the Royole FlexPai, and to be honest, the phone was not that great. But Royole's back with a second version; This is the FlexPai 2. So this was officially launched virtually in China about a week ago. I don't think it's even on sale yet. I might be one of the very first reviewers to get my hands on this, you know, not because I'm like better or anything, but just because I'm closer to the company.
But yeah, I always get my hands on these tech really early. So if you're interested in following the latest, you might want to consider subscribing to my channel. So we have the phone right here. This hinge already feels much better than the last one, but let's put this to the side first. Let's see what else is in this box. So we have a charging brick, a sim ejector tool and some papers and a USB-C cable. That appears to be it. So no case… no nothing. Last year's version came with a slight little leather cover, but not this year's. Anyway, let's get to the main event. So you have a quad camera system here, and you have, I believe this is like a 7.8 inch screen.
Okay, let's do the first fold. Oh, so it folds a lot more flush than last year. Last year's version, when you fold it, there was actually still a little bit like a half an inch of a gap: this year, you see it folds pretty flush, compared to the Galaxy Fold 2. So this screen is clearly plastic, it does not have that ultra thin glass technology that's used in the Galaxy Z Fold2.
So this is called water OS version 2. Alright, that was a quick setup! Seems pretty intuitive so far. So this is one use case from the first FlexPai that's carried over; when you flip over the phone, you can have a screen on the other side. So you can have two apps running separately. So for example, you can have your Instagram on this app and WhatsApp on this app. So that means you can chat with your friend, and check your IG, you know, back and forth without needing to actually close the app. So anyway, let me set up my information, see if I can load Google on there. I'm not sure if we can and then I'll be back. Alright guys, I'm back. So, I took the Royole FlexPai 2 out with me for an afternoon, played around with it nonstop.
And I have pretty good impressions of this device already. So first things first; let's just get this out of the way: This is not better than the Galaxy Fold 2, and I think it would have been almost damn near miracle, if Royole had made this better than the Galaxy Fold 2. You know, Royole, they are a Chinese company that they're relatively new to smartphones. The FlexPai; the first one was actually their very first smartphone. This is just a second attempt. Instead, they are a company that specializes in making display panels, for many other different businesses like, you know, if you go to mall in China, you see a curved display that wraps around a wall; that might be from Royole, or on a bus, stuff like that.
So this is only the second attempt at a phone, and you can't really expect a relatively small company, at least compared to Samsung, to be able to make a thing that beats the Galaxy Fold 2 which, let's be honest here; this is the phone of the year. Let's over specs anyway. So this thing sells for 1500 US dollars. That's just the conversion because it's not gonna go on sale in the US for sure; It's about 9998 Chinese Yuan, so that comes out about $1,500. So this thing runs on a Snapdragon 865, this display on the front, it's a 5.5 inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Now, around the back, it's a 5.4 inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
But of course, this is one panel. When you unfold the device, it becomes a 7.8 inch display, a resolution of 1440p. Now, this hinge is really nice; it's really well built, and as I already mentioned during the unboxing, it actually folds more flush, really similar to the Huawei Mate XS's hinge; the design is very similar. So this is a huge improvement over the first FlexPai's hinge, which left a pretty wide gap like that much, and the back of the hinge was covered in cloth, in fabric.
It looked pretty kind of homemade to be honest. Now, this hinge looks a lot better. Now you have four cameras right here; at the top you have a 16MP ultra wide angle camera, the second camera is an 8MP telephoto lens that can do 3X lossless zoom, and right here, the main camera; this is a 64MP main camera with an F1.9 aperture, and down here is a 32MP portrait lens for taking selfies.
Now I can't say I've tested the cameras heavily, but I've tested it quite a bit, I've been outside for like 40 minutes taking a lot of pictures, and the main camera; it's okay, the 3X camera is also okay, the ultra wide angle camera; not that great. There's like a major colour shift in terms of color temperature, when you switch from the main camera and the wide angle camera and the portrait lens. I don't even know what the hell it does, to be honest. But let's get to the most exciting part the phone; the fact that this is a pocketable device that doubles as a smartphone, but if you want you can have it, work as a tablet too.
And while we're already here, we might as well do a speaker test. So, you get stereo speakers on this phone, you have a speaker grill down here and up top. So we have 60%… max volume, 50%… So, speaker sounds pretty good; stereo speaker, and this display panel looks pretty good. Now, for those of you who've used a Galaxy Z Flip or a Fold 2, you may know that this inside foldable screen, has seen a major improvement from the first Fold in that, it feels more like glass, it doesn't feel as soft and mushy, like the first Galaxy Fold's panel. Unfortunately, Royole's screen technology isn't there, meaning if you touch the foldable screen of the Royole FlexPai 2, it feels softer, a little bit mushier than the ultra thin glass that's used here. Now to be fair, this is still kind of plastic, it is just mixed with a little bit of glass to make it feel a little bit harder, But it definitely feels a little bit more durable than the screen, and this is one of my major concerns about using this phone.
Just like the Huawei Mate X, the screen is always exposed. So that means if you drop this phone, it's probably a goner, if you accidentally clang this phone on a table, when you're taking it in and out of your pocket, it's probably a goner. So, durability is probably a concern. Now, as I demonstrated during the hands on, this UI allows you to open two apps, basically separately, one on the front screen run and one on the back screen. So, let's say on the front screen on, Instagram. Now when I flip the phone around, the screen automatically lights up, it can tell which side is the right side up. I can open, say, the photo album right here.
And it remains open, so now I have the full album right here. If I flip back around, I have Instagram right here. And I really like that, when you're watching Instagram, you can unfold the device and it goes into this full screen view. I just think Instagram Stories look so good on a large screen. Now the question a lot you guys are surely wondering is, "Can this one run Google Apps?" Unfortunately: No, at least not so far.
So, I've already installed all the site loading Google methods, like I downloaded an APK from APK mirror, and I downloaded this really popular Chinese app to install Google Apps, and it just cannot get Google frameworks running. I think what happened was Royole did not pay the licensing fee, so it does not have the Google core mobile services in there, which is basically the same problem that's happening to Huawei, except the difference is: Huawei does not have access to it, not because they didn't pay, but because Donald Trump blocked it, whereas Royole probably just did not pay Google for those rights. So that means you cannot run main core Google Apps on this, like YouTube, Google pay, Google Drive… stuff like that. But Google Chrome still works on this, as you can see, and you can watch YouTube on Google Chrome, and Google Maps actually work on this phone too. Now, let's check out the settings panel. So the first thing you see up top is edge screen. So I've turned it off already, but by default it's on. When you turn it on, it basically has this little pulldown menu from the side, you know, same same logic as the Galaxy edge phones, meaning you pull from the side and it's a menu that you trigger, from the side.
You have a shortcut here to launch the camera, and shortcuts to launch Alipay and WeChat… other Chinese apps. The good news is you can customize this menu so you can put other apps on here too. Like you can have Instagram on here if you want. Now, one cool shortcut trick is… this space underneath the camera module, there's actually a touch sensitive panel right here, and you can trigger actions like, for example, let's say you have Chrome open right here, if you double tap, it jumps into a split screen mode. So now you can open something like… I can open a calculator, you can double tap again, and you can now open a third app, and you can resize the windows too. So, multitasking, so far seems pretty intuitive. I've not encountered many bugs. Now overall in-hand feel, it's pretty nice, although this phone is a little bit heavy, and is also a little bit wide. So it's kind of awkward to hold for long periods of time, because, you know, narrow phones are easy to grip.
So this is not like the most comfortable Fold to grip. The overall construction does feel premium, although I am worried about the durability of the screen. So that's about it for this kind of early first look at the Royole FlexPai 2. I like the hardware. Unfortunately, the lack of support for Google Apps is going to be a major issue for me, and probably most of you watching this, but to be honest, this phone's not gonna sell outside of China, it's not meant for global audience; this is meant for people within China, and you know, like it is what it is, I mean, the Galaxy Fold 2 is the better phone for sure. If you can pay $1500 for this, you might as well pay a little bit more and get the Fold 2.
But you know, if you want to support a Chinese brand, if you want to support a smaller brand, or if you have the money to buy multiple phones, if you're a collector, this might be worth looking at. So this is the Royole FlexPai 2, I'm going to be testing a little bit more and be back with a more full review, with more photo samples and opinions on the camera and overall UI: all that. So that's it for now. Once again, if you're interested in keeping up to date, with the latest tech and gadgets out of China or out of Japan and Korea, please subscribe to my channel, or follow me on Instagram at bensgadgetreviews. Thanks for watching..
– Remember Windows Phone from way back when? Well Microsoft is kind of getting back into making smartphones. This is Surface Duo, and it runs Android. Not Windows or Windows Phone. That's right. Microsoft is making a Surface phone with Android. If that sounds surprising, it's because it really is. But we'll get back into the Android side in a minute. Duo is part of two new futuristic dual-screen devices that Microsoft announced today. And they're coming in Holiday 2020. Surface Duo has two 5.6 inch displays that fold out into an 8.3 inch device overall. And it's just 4.8 millimeters thin. It folds like many two-in-one laptops thanks to a 360 degrees hinge. And it's designed to get more done on the go. It looks tiny for this type of device, and it felt kind of like a Galaxy Note in my pocket. Now, I wasn't allowed to play around with the software on this device, but it looks and feels like a tiny pocket tablet that's also a phone. The difference between this and any other Android phone, except maybe the Galaxy Fold, is visually obvious.
But Microsoft thinks this is part of a new category of devices that allow people to do a lot more with tablets and phones than they do today. As part of this idea, Microsoft also announced a Surface Neo device today. Which has two larger 9 inch displays. The Duo and the Neo share a very similar design, but they don't share a common operating system. Neo, the larger dual-screen device, runs Windows 10 X, and has all your familiar desktop and tablet apps. The reason this isn't running Windows Phone is because Microsoft gave up on that operating system years ago, when it couldn't convince developers to create apps for it's devices. Now we sat down with Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, on the Vergecast this week, to talk about why Microsoft chose Android this time for the Surface Duo.
– [Panay] Well because, those are the apps you want. I don't know how to answer it differently for you. Because there's hundreds of thousands of apps and you want them. Asati and I talked about it, it's about meeting our customers where they are. And I don't think the, you know, the mobile application platform's going anywhere any time soon, you need the apps. – So you'll get the apps you'd expect from a phone inside the dual-screen device, but how is this different from any other smartphone? I mean it obviously looks different. And the main idea is making use of these two displays in ways we're only starting to see other Android phone makers explore. You could run a game on one side, and a game pad on the other, or multi-task by dragging and dropping content between apps. Microsoft hasn't thought of everything you'd do with the Surface Duo just yet, but that's why it's announcing it now so developers can fill in the gaps.
They're really aiming to introduce a new form factor here, and a way for a device to adjust itself on the go, no matter the task. We've seen foldable devices from Huawei and Samsung, but the Duo has two separate displays that are made of glass, rather than foldable plastic. Which given the issues with Samsung's Galaxy Fold, that might be a good choice right now. Microsoft has been working on this hardware for three years, and Panos Panay tells us that this device won't change much by the time it debuts late next year.
The real key question will be whether Android app developers create the apps and experiences that really take advantage of this dual-screen device. And whether consumers want this type of hardware in a phone form factor in the first place. That's why Microsoft also has its largest Surface Neo device running Windows. And it really feels like the company wants to offer a Surface at every shape and size. Microsoft also seems to be implying that the operating system really doesn't matter for Surface devices anymore.
And it's willing to partner with Google and others to offer what makes sense. So does that means that Android is the future for Microsoft? – [Panay] (clears throat) No no no no no no. You want to give customers what they want in the form factor that they're using. We've learned this, you know, the right operating system on the wrong product or the other way around, pick your words, but what's the right operating system for the form factor? And in this case, in mobile devices, Android's the obvious choice. But anything above that, Windows is everything.
Superior for me. – So, will the Surface Duo and the Surface Neo combine in the future? Will there be a smartphone that turns into a tablet, that then turns into a laptop, then you dock and turns into a real PC? We're years away from anything even getting close to that. But it opens up the questions about where this dual-screen and foldable hardware is going exactly. And they're really hard questions to answer right now. Microsoft will now need to convince app developers and consumers that these dual-screen devices are truly the new device category that we've all been waiting for.
Wherever things end up, it looks like Microsoft want to be ready at every point with Surface. You want a phone that's a little bit more than a phone that has an extra display? Surface Duo. You want a tablet that transforms into a laptop? Surface Neo or Surface Pro. Microsoft is covering every hardware base here, and it's leaving it up to you to decide what device you actually need.
– [Panay] You know, I think like anything, look at the product you think is most interesting to you and where you think you can be more creative, that's what I would push. And I think this products gonna be there next year. Not in a hurry, you know, hang out. Take photos or do whatever it is you do on your phone today for a little bit longer and then, see if we can convince you that you can be more creative on this product. – It's been a crazy day of Surface devices and there's a bunch of hands-on videos you should check out on our YouTube channel.
Be sure to also definitely check out the Vergecast, 'cause it has the full interview with Panos Panay, and you don't wanna miss it..