The mobile device has a 6.2-in. foldable OLED with 2142 x 876 resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio and 373 ppi. Initial volumes on the foldable display came from AUO, but the primary supplier for the remainder of Q4 2019 is BOE. China Star will also begin shipping this panel from Q1 2020. BOE is the primary supplier on the front rigid OLED from its B6 line which has SVGA resolution and a similar 370 ppi. This line is currently producing displays for Huawei and Xiaomi wearables. On the foldable display, Kolon is the CPI supplier, MSK is the hard coat supplier, 3M is the OCA supplier, and Sumitomo is the polarizer supplier, says DSCC.
The most innovative aspect of the 2019 Razr is the hinge designed to minimize the likelihood of a crease/foldable mark in the foldable display. The display has a manageable radius when it folds so that it is less likely to crease as seen from Motorola’s 2018 patent. The larger fold radius produces less stress on the display and less fatigue in the colorless polyimide cover film, making delamination, a folding mark and other defects from the compressive stress less likely. This is believed to be accomplished by creating an open cavity in the hinge design that allows the display to curve around rather than fold around the hinge. There is no hard crease. According to the patent, rather than having the hinge behind the display, the hinge is on the left and right side of the display which gives the display room to bend rather than fold. Motorola says the hinge “includes moveable support plates that rigidly support the display when the phone is open, but collapse out of the way when the phone is closed.” This allows the phone to have a zero gap hinge, but not causing the display to crease. In addition, because it is a clamshell, the hinge and crease area are much smaller than in a book-type foldable and is protected when the phone is closed.
The form factor of the new Razr is a major plus, but users will have to be accustomed to the increased thickness. When folded, it is around 2X the thickness of a current smartphone at 0.55 in. vs. ~0.3 in. When unfolded though, it is slightly thinner at 0.27 in. The 21:9 aspect ratio and large chin make it a little longer than most smartphones at 6.77 in., but when folded is just 3.7 in., much shorter than any other smartphone on the market. Thus, it is more portable when folded than any other existing device, can fit in front pockets, small compartments in a purse, etc.
DSCC is optimistic on the outlook for foldable clamshells due to their lower costs and prices, increased portability and increased ruggedness compared with other foldables as seen in the forecast below. Samsung's first clamshell smartphone will be available in Q1 2020 with ultra-thin glass, and more foldable clamshells in 2020 are expected from Huawei and Motorola (larger panel).