Knockout: who did Apple and Samsung in the world of smartphones
Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone on January 9, 2007, and from that day, Apple has become the undisputed leader in the smartphone market. By analogy with the joke of motorcyclists that the world of motorcycles is divided into Yamaha and other motorcycles, it was safe to say that the world of smartphones was divided into iPhone and other smartphones. Over the years, telecommunications giants have been trying to move the American company from first place, but to no avail. But with each attempt, they got closer and closer, increasingly defeating Apple in individual nominations. Last year, this gap disappeared: in some tests, Apple products were ahead of Samsung and Huawei. For example, in the most reputable camera test for DxOMark smartphones, now the first place is occupied by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with 109 points. The latest Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is gaining the same number of points, while the Apple iPhone XS Max is in fifth place with 105 points. The gap in the area of error. To change the king, victory was required not by points, but by knockout, a fundamentally new model, after which no one would have any doubt who the leader was.
Increase the number of lenses to five? Nokia did this in its 9 PureView phone and has been the subject of ridicule. However, there was no intrigue before MWC 2019, in which telecommunication giants will compete: flexible displays should have become the arena.
Samsung, as has already happened more than once, decided to take the lead and five days before the opening of MWC held the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco. In California, a lot of new products were shown, including the main hopes of this year - the Samsung Galaxy S10 line of three smartphones. But the presentation was remembered by one: the first-ever clamshell phone with a flexible screen Samsung Fold. The device received as many as two displays. When folded, we see a 4.6-inch display, but if we expand it, we get almost a tablet with a diagonal of 7.3 inches and an aspect ratio of 4.2: 3. For such a complex device, I even had to come up with a new user interface. The folding mechanism is worthy of a separate article, and Swiss watchmakers could be proud of. The device is crammed with the most modern technologies available to Samsung, including support for 5G networks not seen by anyone. The next three days after the presentation, Fold deservedly became the main technological news of the planet. But few people drew attention to several shortcomings of the model.
For example, on two displays. This complicates the apparatus and does not provide any new advantages. Multi-display models have been seen on the market more than once, and always this was a failure. Due to the confusion with the displays, Samsung was forced to place as many as six cameras on the device, more only in the creepy Nokia 9 PureView. Analysts joked that six cameras were needed for the new phone so that you could shoot on either side of the phone. But six Samsung clamshell lenses were needed due to the abundance of displays. On the back there is a triple of sensors, similar to the flagship Samsung Galaxy S10. When folded, a 10-megapixel front module for selfie is used, and when unfolded - a spark with 10 and 8 megapixel sensors. Not confused yet?
However, the device was largely successful and has many features of a super-flagship, for example, 512 GB of main and 12 GB of RAM and a price of $ 1980. A good bid for victory, analysts decided, and hurried to the airport to catch flights to Barcelona to watch the final of the battle for first place.
OPPO's February 23 presentation of a phone with 10x stabilized optical zoom was almost unnoticed in this turmoil. The company placed the telephoto lens not across, but along the body, using the so-called periscopic scheme. It is claimed that the technology is protected by hundreds of patents. All other characteristics of the phone are also at the level, including the 48-megapixel main camera, however, we will not see the serial device until the summer.
Well, the main event of MWC 2019 happened a day before the exhibition. You could judge who you are in the telecommunications journalism market by one parameter - whether you were invited to a Huawei presentation or not. The Chinese opened their new laptops. We will say right away, sound and expensive. To the credit of the organizers, they did not particularly delay them, and after about fifteen minutes a new rock star appeared on the scene: Huawei Mate X - “World's Fastest Foldable 5G Phone”. The hall moaned and applauded. And there was something.
The phone turned out to be only one folding display. When folded, the front part has a size of 2480x1148 pixels, and the rear - 2480x892. Unfolded - 2480x2200, almost a square (8: 7.1). And if Samsung Fold in the unfolded state shows a significant “bang” for cameras, then in Mate X the screen is completely clean.
The second feature - the phone turned out to be very thin (5.4 mm), since all the voluminous details were placed on a small side elegant thickening, in which three cameras were registered. It’s difficult to describe, just look at the pictures. The folding mechanism itself is also very complex, consists of more than a hundred components, and if you collect precision mechanical items, then Mate X is your choice. When folded, the thickness of the Mate X is 11 mm, versus 17 mm from a competitor. The first goal against Samsung.