Foldable phones and 5G: Highlights from Mobile World Congress 2019 | TECH(talk)


hi and welcome to Tech Talk where we
take a look at what’s going on in technology news and offer some insights
it should be useful I’m here with Michael Simon from PC world I’m Ken
Mingis executive editor computer world Michael’s just back from Mobile World
Congress 2019 someone to pick his brain about what’s going what happened there
and we might even get in a rant about folding phones stick around okay so Mike
welcome back you survived back in the States yeah welcome back stateside a lot
of announcements out of MWC as usual yeah and I wanted to see you know we
talked about a month ago about things that might be coming up was there any
kind of theme I mean obviously foldable phones is a big topic out there there
was a lot of that 5g5 G is the thing the the thing well but it’s not a thing yet
right I could isn’t that the point well yeah it’s going to be it’s right it
will be a thing I mean I couldn’t walk two feet with that seeing a 5g something
okay what everywhere device a prototype microcell banner chip whatever what have
you it was it was all over the place they even had these little 5g pins that
I guess Qualcomm made or somebody and it would say like 5g Samsung fine g1 plus
and this is you know just for the record this is real 5g not the fake o5g that it
see it’s real funky but it’s also but it’s not any easier because we don’t
there’s no networks that can it wasn’t even anything real on the trade show
floor like a couple of Samsung wasn’t showing off as long as Dennis on phone
it’s gorgeous and I want one you know I want the LTE version okay I don’t want a
5g one I don’t wanna spend $250 more or whatever it is for 5g when I’m lucky if
I get it this time next year I don’t even think it’ll be and I don’t like
that even if you’re looking at 2022 yes for for wide widespread adoption yeah
even if let’s say I’m lucky to live in one of the cities like Dallas or
something as soon as I travel outside those I’m back to 4G and my battery life
is taking a hit as it keeps looking for the 5g network yet I can’t can’t turn
that off well you can but I don’t want it to okay yeah okay I don’t want to go
into my mobile settings and switch things I want
I don’t think about my work it should it should smartly turn off and it will and
all of that stuff is gonna happen I just that Qualcomm is the major and they’re
pushed by the carriers it’s cool it’s cool Qualcomm has the x50 chip right
which is in the s10 5g it’s in the LGV 55 G or five LG v 50 which is 5g and
it’s gonna be a handful of other phones including the huawei mate yes which is
folding that’s the foldable so that that’s the chip we have that’s the modem
we have now attached to the 855 chip and it’s a good modem speeds of up to two
and a half gigabits per second which is the standard set I mean this is maybe a
dumb question but the 5g standard is set and so the chips that are being produced
now we’re not doing sort of dancing it well this is my next my next point so
they already announced the X 55 chip okay which is gonna be part of I assume
the the 865 and a wider role that maybe a couple of smattered 855 phones the
snapdragon I’m talking about 55 is what’s in the case the top-of-the-line
Snapdragon now so the 855 modem and I’m sorry the X I’m confusing myself okay
the X 55 modem yeah has theoretical speeds up to seven gigabit to say I like
that one yeah I want that one so if you buy one
of these phones you know not this one yeah I’m just holding a table not an
iPhone only for God do you get 5g that you can’t use right when you can use it
it’s gonna be slower than the one that yes that’s on the market when you get so
what why would you why would anyone buy any of these things and I’ll tell you
why they would buy and because they’re being duped yep they’re being pushed and
because people don’t know people don’t do this for a living
I mean I’m well they’ll see they’ll see if I be it’s interesting because I had a
conversation with Dan Rosenbaum a couple weeks ago when the s10 rolled out and we
were talking about that and he was saying specifically you know if you’re
looking to buy the new Samsung s10 don’t get the 5g version you know you’re
better off getting this year’s technology the latest greatest now
waiting a couple of years you know two or three years maybe when it’s time to
upgrade and then jump into in fact when I I had a hands-on with the s10 5g at
mobile or Congress and I wrote about saying this is this is the phone I want
it has a six point seven inch screen a better camera yep
but I have to get the 5g version so not only are these companies pushing out 5g
before it’s ready I really I really do want to use air quotes around 5g right
now I know you know cuz it’s okay go ahead yeah I mean they’re putting in in
their most desirable their most desirable products like that like the
Huawei made 10 you’re folding the one that everyone wants that’s 5g you know
there’s not a it is not a 4G I have a minimal cost of what 26 yeah you know
for 2600 damn thing should be able to reach the middle 2600 I mean there was
like like audible Snickers when they show our future rim hang on okay yeah I
had seen it the night before and we were kind of speculating me and my
photographer that was there with me Samsung’s is 1980 maybe like 20 when
they showed up man yeah right anyway yeah we’ll get to that
yeah but you know 5g it’s it’s super-important absolutely what’s really
funny about it is so like all these companies have these little video
montages of what it’s done how fast you can tell it’s all like yeah that’s all
it is three seconds to download a movie I don’t care I haven’t done one in a
movie in five years right I don’t look at movies on my phone I’m sure you can
you can play games on the go I can do that now yeah you can shop well I can do
that now like she’ll give me some reason to look forward to there’s technology
other than what you do now will be a little bit faster because that’s not
what 5g well this is it doesn’t this go back to the point we were making I think
when we last chatted that we’re getting to an end when it comes to innovation I
mean all right so it’s it’s this year’s great phone but a little faster yes 5g
is that’s what they’re smarter I know it’s a smart it’s smarter but it’s also
like you’ll be able to take like let’s say you’re working on I don’t know some
kind of a CAD project it’s like it’s a big on my road well you can bring
whatever it is anywhere you know beginning these you know these video
download transfer speeds that you get on your Wi-Fi faster than your wife I don’t
know anyway everywhere yeah and in that sense it’s a big deal because that will
power AI that will power machine learning that will power block chain or
vehicle to view all that other stuff having a hold of the story on blockchain
I can explain but all that stuff like you won’t have to worry about how fast
is my network now because five the 5g infrastructure will enable the those
those networks you know and those systems to work everywhere emphasis on
will yes we’re nowhere near it right you know and I also do see a use for it in
I’m thinking here in the states at least in rural areas bringing broadband to
areas do not have it they still don’t have it they don’t have it but once this
is in place you should you know you’ll have real broadband but B that’s not I
mean they’ll have what we have right right I mean it’s still gonna be five
g’s still gonna be if you can afford it just like four G’s
it’s like broadband is just like gigabit is all that stuff you know it’s all
great if you have the money for a hundred and fifty dollar monthly bill I
do have to ask since President Trump was talking up six Jake’s t any decision all
right so five G that was clearly the the message everywhere everywhere at MWC you
know some devices were rolling out with a version of it you know or modems will
work none of them are later this year and our advice you personally is don’t
do it unless you have a ton of disposable income unless you were away
money will speak but if you’re looking to get value for your purchase which is
what we’re in the business of guiding you guys on businesses are not gonna be
not now it’s not worth it cuz it’s not there okay speaking of money to blow
yeah foldable phones oh yeah now here’s something that I’m excited well then see
I think we’re gonna have a little bit of a dinner of opinion here I I’m excited I
think the technology is cool as a technology proof of concept I’m not
convinced and a little more than approver cuts okay it’s close but you
know you can convince me but I’m not sure what the use case is for foldable
phones so tell me that I’m wrong and why well you’re not wrong based on what I
could what I’ve seen good answer the galaxy fold yeah the one that I don’t
know if you saw the photos but they had it in this ridiculous like reflective
box at mob org yeah like I could barely make out that there was a phone
there was lights everywhere and mirrors it was in Python it makes you wonder why
there do you they’re doing it because there’s clear flaws with the screen you
mean I mean enjoy a little screen the problem a quick a crease yeah yeah I
mean that was that was apparent when they were doing the demo and there was
an article today from I think Business Insider that says you know they’re
they’re aware and they’re working out and I’m sure they will listen there’s
gonna be a lot of issues right form-factor
not what’s standing with this phone you know in price and all that other stuff
however what’s the use case the use case is that thing right there yeah my I’m
folding into something like this this and this in fitting in my pocket but you
know what this is not gonna fold in half and nine and a half times something big
then why are we stopping at half fold in two thirds we can I mean
dry fold phones we have one double the notice there’s – it’s not about hinges I
don’t think right now we have to yeah you have two of these things when you
look at a laptop so we have a laptop yeah like here’s all the guts and this
is the screen correct like the early laptops were insane yeah no I remember
and we and we’ve gotten to this no so I think the technology it is remarked
physically play with the may 10 yes all right well I have matter what they’re
calling I will admit that I have not actually laid hands on it so tell me
it’s weird because the display is in glass yeah it’s plastic it’s it’s like a
polymer of some sort yeah yeah and it feels like I could you know dent it you
know at the least okay if I press too hard on it and there’s some resistance
when you fold in and it feels like it’s gonna break and it’s weird and but the
fact that we’re at a point in this this this this industrial revolution that
we’re on that where we can take a screen and literally fold in and haven’t blown
thrown in our pocket it’s amazing you know and down the road three years from
now fibers and at once Apple first of all I saw I read your piece that Apple
needs to get on the stick and that’s a politically get the form factor right
that’s your think and I do think that this technology is where we’re gonna how
long are we gonna have these rectangular slabs 5 to 10 years yeah yeah so five
years from now okay I want to see every company every major company have
their version of what a folding phone someone’s gonna get it right as probably
going to be Apple let’s be realistic here people do you think they’ll always
be kind of slighty kind of thing fold in half kind of thing well that’s what’s
old dad would that’s that that’s what the brilliance will come into play
whoever does it and again probably Apple yeah
will look at it and say why didn’t we think of it right just like the iPhone
why didn’t we think of this or this people I have seen before set out that’s
been working on and of course they have you know you know I’m sure they are the
technology is remarkable and it holds incredible promise the two thousand
dollar phones now listen a couple people will buy them say they have them there’s
gonna be a ton of issues and problems and if the OS is gonna be weird apps all
that others there’s a ton of stuff to be worked out
right but I mean we have to company to major companies that like created a
phone that can fold I mean let’s just revel in that for how was it how was it
when you folded it how did it feel like extra thick you know when you put it
when you close it up I mean it’ll fit in the pocket okay it’s it’s about 11
millimeters okay thick which it’s thicker than that’s a different type of
like the galaxy one that looks like it’s like sixteen cuz that’s literally two
phone right on top of you like that’s the one that I’m thinking yeah Huawei
has like the screen kind of folds out look kind of like a laptop right so it’s
very thin it’s almost like that then okay the one side of it and then there’s
like a it’s like a bar with cameras and the power button and the fingerprint
sensor and all the other things kind of crammed into this one little thing it’s
it’s actually a pretty neat form factor I don’t know if that’s like the most
ideal I don’t know I think what it was it was it’s a cool it’s a different idea
than just okay let’s take this and do this together I think what you know I
was reading a piece about the issue is gonna be the the screen the glass the
polycarbonate Corning they just announced that they’re working on
exactly and and and and that Apple had been working with them I think on that
and I do think that once you get that toe shoe but I’m not sure that that
issue I don’t that issue hasn’t been solved yet no no not even close and
that’s that’s major part of the battle here material
and how it feels and how or you know and that’s apples that’s Apple stock and
trade you know taking aluminum and making it better aluminum right so
they’ll find a way to make glass better unless it’s the the Apple but I do think
that I don’t think folding phones are a trend it’s gonna go away
okay what was the response or did you get a sense for you know I mean I’m sure
tech journalists like you like I if I was picking one up and you know using it
were fascinated by the technology did you get any sense from other people at
MWC that you know the masses are clamoring I mean every time I walk by
the they were encased in glass yeah for normies right those people them okay I
mean name was people there were people taking pictures of it you know there was
a crowd of people when I tell you when after the Huawei event they had two or
three on display in glass you know and I had to tell you minute it was like a
like a stampede okay like people almost got hurt okay like I
mean and those are all journalists and was like shades of doors right it’s like
people just went like I’m thinking like I read some it’s a phone like you can’t
even touch oh and suddenly he’s cynical now I got a line somewhere I’m not
losing my life over phone you might I don’t know you get between the crowd and
this thing you might so okay all right well I you know you make some good
points that you know the concept is what’s important here the final result
from these these manufacturers and Apple and others down the road
will will will be what we want I mean do I care about a 4.6 inch screen opening
up to a 7 inch screen but I do keep a bad phone and going down the road okay
getting something that’s like it maybe that’s too big but maybe like it’s like
a 10 and a half inch screen and eyeballs down to something that six or so it fits
in my pocket yep that’s something treats me
all right so 5g foldable phones any any other technology you know cutting-edge
edgy kinds of things that are coming that you saw there will those two really
the dubious that was the those are the two that were that were everywhere I
mean I had a lot of like folding type of concepts that weren’t really anything
that’s become and enjoy that had a cool thing that was like a like a 20
millimeter thick phone that had like a 18 million that were battery in it that
was awesome was that last like six always like a
week or so okay yeah but it was like it was literally like this thick it was
crazy yeah all right so now that was fun you know a lot of those things that
people write about to give to you know cuz they’re interesting but know what’s
gonna buy them okay good all right well so that’s it that’s a great recap I mean
that’s why it’s important to have somebody on the grounds right because
you can really you know you get a chance to actually handle the hardware see how
people are responding fold is coming out that’s no one’s touch that you know
Samsung hasn’t let anyone even like look at it really you know that’s the 26th of
April so that’s what around the corner we’ll see if they have another event to
show off that you know I want to get my hands on one yeah I’m curious you know
on bring it in so samsung definitely they like the Apple of Android yep so
they’re either they’re harder I like the on lon
yes very much so I’m curious to see you know what they’re but how it works how
you know okay good all right well we’ll revisit then okay Michael I appreciate
it thanks for the report from foldable World Congress for now that’s a wrap

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