How to build your own foldable smartphone

How to build your own foldable smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are both facing troubles getting to market for different reasons. If you can’t wait for the next smartphone revolution and like some DIY work, you can now hack your own smartphone, or mini-laptop with foldable display together. Thanks to a supplier on Alibaba, who is offering fflexible displays.

Touchscreen

The supplier is named Shenzen Duobond Display Technology and is based in Guangdong (oddly enough not in Shenzen). They’re offering a flexible display with 720 x 1520 resolution, in both a touch and non-touch version. The display comes with a HDMI controller, allowing you to attach it to a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, mediaplayer, game console or Android Development Board. The display sells for $500 in single quantity.

Concerns

The biggest concern is the limited bend radius. Judging from the pictures and videos on Alibaba, the radius seems to be in the 25mm range. That’s a whole lot bigger than the 7mm of the Mate X and the 3mm of the Galaxy Fold. It will make some creative applications possible, but won’t allow you to build a very sleek or slim device. Also it’s not clear where these displays are sourced from. In one of the videos, the BOE brand is shown, which is one of the few manufacturers in China capable of building flexible displays.

See also: Why do we need a foldable phone anyway?