The new kind of slider from BenQ Siemens (SL98), Asus and LG
By now everyone is familiar how a slider phone works. You know – push, pull or press a button and a keyboard/keypad hidden behind the big phone screen slides out. There’s nothing really new to be invented for the slider design, isn’t?
Well, actually it looks like there is. And a number of cellphone vendors are working on a interesting new kind of slider, where a phone will have a sliding screen instead of keyboard.
The first phone to use this design was BenqQ Siemens SL98:
But now, the recent patent filings from Asustek and LG show that they are thinking about the mobile sliders along the same lines too.
At first look such design innovation looks pretty stupid and useless. Hiding the screen inside the body of the phone? What’s good about that? But after reading the patents, the idea does not look that stupid anymore.
Just think about it. How often do you really need to actually look into a big screen on your smartphone? It is great for browsing the web, looking at pictures or watching videos. But if the phone is used for it’s primary purpose – making and receiving calls, what you really need to see is a small part of the screen.
That’s what this new kind of slider does. The screen is hidden inside the body of the phone, but part of it is visible through the small transparent window where you can see a few lines of text.
With this design you don’t need a second screen like on clamshell phones, thus saving on manufacturing costs. By hiding mobile phone screen inside, you can protect it from the mechanical damage. You also can have almost all of the phone surface dedicated for the keypad thus having better input controls.
And when you need a bigger screen just pull or push the button and you can have a full fledged smartphone.