Flip the Switch

A Look Into Foldables + BONUS: Element 3D Folding Phone Concept Samples

Back when I was trying to start a tech blog, and just after Google announced support for foldables, and even before Motorola was getting in the game, I was already thinking about the next flip-phone. Now with a new version of Samsung Galaxy Fold, a highly-anticipated dual-screen phone with Microsoft Duo, and a Motorola event happening today, where should we expect this trend to go?

Read my original article here: https://r-views.com/flip-phone-future/

FOLED – which just means adding “folding” to whatever OLED means, is a term I remembered hearing on the Discovery Channel as a teenager in the early 2000’s. I remember seeing concepts about folding screens for TV’s or projectors, and even TOLED (transparent OLED) being used on windshields. It took more than 15yrs before we finally saw actual products that used these technologies. But are they any good?

I for one have never held a folding-screen device in my life. Judging from what others say, and pictures and videos that I have seen, I feel like it’s a trend that is slowly creeping in though. A famous tech personality even uses a Samsung Galaxy Fold, and actually boasts liking the product enough to be his daily-driver. The foldable phone is already out there, but its not in the hands of people who want to give it a shot.

One factor that slows that progress is the price. A normal smartphone already costs around half of renting an apartment (or in some cases the full rent). Adding another screen, a bigger battery, and I would assume “new” features too, that price is really going to go up. If a foldable-smartphone would go down to the price of an affordable Android, I believe there is nothing that would stop the regular-Joe from picking one up. In the event that these technologies would be considered part-of-the-norm, it’s very likely that it’s going to start rolling out more.

Love it or hate it too, there is also the factor of Apple, and what they think of it. From experience, Apple has never really started a trend, instead, they wait, and when the time is right, they go on the offensive with a certain kind of technology. Will Apple eventually try and go into the whole foldable-trend? Having just release a new 16″ Macbook Pro, it seems like it’s not in their radar as of yet. They do have other things to worry about as well, like a non-breaking iPad Pro, the new MacPro desktops, and maintaining their lead in the wireless-earbuds market with AirPods. But the iPhone is their flagship, their money-maker, and their inlatable-lifesaver, and if they’re not on-board to get the iPhone to fold, that’s another huge chunk of the population not getting into the new tech.

If foldables of today fail to get even the most hardcore techies, or a even just a small niche of Android users, then the idea would just die. So far, folding-phones have had a good run – Nobody is really that mad with Samsung (how can you be mad at foldables after the whole Note fiasco), and everybody knows the technology is in its infancy. It would take manufacturers, more than developers in my opinion to get the ball rolling. Why? Because smartphones, like any other gadget today, is an accessory, something to make you look cool. If plastic screens, and creases on the screen is where it all ends up, then it won’t even be fun to make ads for those. It. Won’t. Sell. Plain and simple.

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For now, I can only dream of a slim, and clean form-factor, no creases on the screen, and just would look and feel like a regular smartphone. That’s why I built one using Cinema4D and Element3D. As you can see in the render above, this is my ideal folding phone:

– Rubber Hinge (no creases)

– Notification Screen when folded. Think smartwatch size screen on the back.

– Edge-to-Edge Display

– More Cameras and Sensors (being that this render is over a year old, as a Pixel user, I didn’t even think of doing more cameras)

The technology, and even the experience is all new and would take quite some time to mature and actually be useful. Who needs a folding phone? Nobody can answer that, because back then, nobody even thought they needed a smartphone. What can we expect to see on the turn with this new technology? What can we see at the river? I can’t go all-in just yet – so for now, I’ll just fold.

Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see a tutorial of how to create a 3D foldable in Cinema4D, Element3D and After Effects. Also let me know what kind of features you want to see in a foldable.

“Bye Tim, I’m With Bill Now.”

I moved from Mac to PC.

I moved from Mac to PC. It’s been over a decade since I left my Vista-turned-XP HP computer to collect dust. Since then, I have owned two Macbook Pros, an entry level one and another fully spec’d. And both have proven to be very reliable and lasted way longer (and powered through way more renders) than I could have imagined. I put those laptops to WORK and for years they’ve been my trusty slaves. I had a good long run with my Macs but as I stared at the spinning color wheel of death one night, I knew—- it was time for an upgrade.

There is that thing we call “age”. One definition is a number that refers to how old something/someone is. The other, refers to a particular period in time, and in this case, the Age of Good Macs has passed. I have fallen back into the hands of Bill Gates. And as I gaze into this brand new Windows [PC], dreams of better render times and seamless scrubbing are now at my fingertips. See how I built my latest workstation… and you know the drill – like, subscribe, and help me kick-off this YouTube thing.

Show Meike Some Love: 35mm f1.7

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So I just got myself a used version of the popular Fujifilm XF35mm f2. Y’all know it, you’ve YouTube’d the hell out of it, and read everything you can provided it’s not a shady site (unlike this of course). It does not disappoint I tell you that, but before having the privilege of that lens, I was using the Meike 35mm f1.7. I just feel like I need to show some of my love for it. Manual focus, cheap (most people say “inexpensive” but let’s be real), and not as sharp. I’m sure those old vintage lenses aren’t perfect as well, so this can’t be that bad right?

A lot of people don’t really like this lens, but a handful of people also do. I hated it during the first couple of weeks. I didn’t know how sharp or how bad it should be. I didn’t get anything good out of it, and I thought that I reached its limits. Then again, I was always shooting at f1.7, which is probably its worst f-stop. I kinda felt like it was just too much effort to like this lens, and it was not functioning how I wanted it to. My fault too for relying too much on focus-peaking. I found that turning any MF Assistant feature off is best with manual focus lenses.

The Meike 35mm f1.7 just got its own vibe though, so I stuck with it. It will give you something different, not worse, than the official X lenses. The way it handles color is just a love-hate thing. On one hand its a unique look, but on the other, its an inaccurate look too. If it’s giving you what you want then great. If you are expecting to get something in the quality of Fuji lenses, then you’re out of luck. It’s more compact than the xf35mm f2 though. The Meike doesn’t ship with a hood, but regardless it is still shorter than the Fuji f2 counterpart despite the bigger opening and wider filter thread. In terms of weight, I felt like the Meike lens was a bit heavier, which also gives it a premium feel.

35mmVS-4

A plus on this lens too is the not-very-accurate depth of field scale. Not perfect, but usable and way better than zone-focusing digitally. If you find your sweet spot, it’s basically point and shoot. I shoot mine mostly at f8 with the focus just between 10ft and 4m. Once you find that sweet spot, you’re good, and you will learn to love it. If you’re not a fan of having everything in focus, you might as well just get the XF35 f1.4, for the convenience of AF and wider aperture if you can find it for a good price.

The lens flare I could live with as well. I do like the work of Andrew Kramer after all.

If you have the Fujifilm X Series camera too, using Acros on this is just heaven. I almost want it to have scratches like I used to have using those old Colplan black and white film (Yes, Colplan is the goal!). It almost feels like cheating because using an affordable lens like this on a Fuji-X body and getting great images is just too good.

I hope each Meike35mm is unique. Like there’s a different characteristic or sweet spot for each lens; kinda like how 2 guitars could have a different magic to it even though they’re the same model. For me though, I think I got a keeper.

Overall, now that I have the Fujifilm XF35mm f2, I don’t think I’ll miss the Meike 35mm. That’s because this lens still has a place in the bag and will see its use. It’s still the best lens for those days you just feel like shooting JPG. Highly recommended, 5 stars, must-buy and all that jazz. Bye!