TCL’s ‘futuristic’ new concept smartphone displays can roll and fold like an accordion

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Updated: Mar 06, 2020 3:41 PM

One folds like an accordion and another rolls out from under.

tcl trifoldThe goal is simple – to offer a tablet form factor that you can carry in your pocket.

Foldables have only just arrived and already brands have started exploring new ways to make them weirder. TCL is out with two ‘futuristic’ concept devices that literally bend the rules of smartphone displays beyond your imagination. One folds like an accordion and another rolls out from under. The goal is simple – to offer a tablet form factor that you can carry in your pocket. Sort of like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, but TCL is making these tablets bigger to the tune of 8 and 10 inch.

TCL’s new concept devices are based on the company’s in-house screen technology which means they have an end-to-end advantage. Even though there’s no word if and when we’ll see TCL commercializing them at this point of time, it’s safe to say that the Huizhou, China-based company more famously known for its affordable (yet feature-rich televisions) has caught our interest. And how.

Both the concept devices are so different – and unique – in their approach and both of them are so interesting, it’s difficult to pick favorites here.

One is a tri-fold phone-tablet hybrid that lets you access a 10-inch tablet and a 6.65-inch smartphone, both in one device. In it, TCL has managed to use folds we’ve already seen in the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X – which means the same tablet can fold inwards and outwards to let you access an even bigger screen. The concept uses two distinct and proprietary hinges, DragonHinge and ButterflyHinge, to achieve the two kinds of folds.

tcl rolling screenBorrowing inspiration from rollable TVs, TCL has managed to miniaturize the same concept to fit a smartphone/tablet form factor.

TCL’s other concept is even wackier. Borrowing inspiration from rollable TVs, TCL has managed to miniaturize the same concept to fit a smartphone/tablet form factor. We’re looking at a 6.75-inch smartphone which uses a manual rollable mechanism to transform into a 7.8-inch tablet – there’s a dedicated button on the device that lets you pull out the extra ounce of display from within the confines thereby also avoiding instances of any visible creases or lines that current-generation folding devices are infamous for.

TCL was initially scheduled to show off its new concept devices at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain before it was canceled in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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