Is It The Return Of The Clamshell Phone?

It was in the mid-1990s when Motorola released the StarTac which many consider the first clamshell or flip phone. The design offers the advantage of having a phone that’s large enough to be easily manipulated with one hand, and when folded would be small enough to pocket comfortably.

This phone design had its heyday in the early 2000 but it slowly went out of favor as phones with ever-increasing touchscreen sizes and longer battery life became the trend. A rigid touchscreen occupies every square millimeter of one side of a typical smartphone while the battery takes up the other. This makes a hinge design incompatible.

That is until phone manufacturers figured out how to make phone screens flexible. Now called foldables, these designs are re-emerging as flagship models of many major phone manufacturers. They’re still exorbitantly expensive and the screens are fragile but as the technology progresses, we might soon see a clamshell phone renaissance.