For a couple of years now, it has been quite apparent that form factor innovation has stalled in the mobile industry. Big candybar touch devices are the norm, with no sliders, clamshells, qwertys or any of the other wackier designs in sight. But that seems to be changing — or at least there are companies that are thinking outside the box again, most of them employing “dual screens” to innovate and step away from the touch slab.
First there’s Asus and their Padfone lineup with the new member being the Padfone Infinity. It allows you to dock the phone into a bigger screen, transforming it into a tablet and letting you enjoy your content on a bigger screen. Then there’s the YotaPhone that keeps the candybar form factor but slaps an e-ink display on the back for lower power consumption on notifications and reading. And last, there’s the NEC Medias W that puts two touchscreens next to each other in a clamshell design, which is useful to run side-by-side apps, emulate a tablet UI with different fragments on the two screen, or simply put the keyboard on the second screen.
What do you think of these dual-screened devices? Are they interesting enough that you would consider buying them now? Or would you rather wait for the more established manufacturers to embrace them?