Rumor has it that Samsung and LG are working on phones with flexible displays you’ll be able to use as a tablet or fold in half to use as a phone. Lenovo’s already shown how similar technology could be used for a foldable tablet or a phone that folds around your wrist like a watch.

But while we’re waiting for that technology to be available, ZTE is allegedly working on the next best thing: a dual-screen phone that you can fold in half to use in phone mode or unfold to use as a tablet.

Venture Beat’s Evan Blass (@evleaks) reports that it’s called the ZTE Axon Multy, and ZTE is partnering with AT&T on the phone.

Kyocera Echo (2011)

Blass says the device will be a clamshell-style product that folds in half when you want to use it as a phone, putting one display on the front and another on the back. Unfold the phone and you can use the two 1920 x 1080 pixel screens together as a 6.8 inch tablet with a 1920 x 2160 pixel display.

It’s likely you’ll see a bit of a line going down the middle of the tablet, where the two screens meet. But with smartphone bezels getting slimmer and slimmer, that line will likely be thinner on the ZTE Axon Multi than on the last device to feature this sort of design — the 2011-era Kyocera Echo.

The Axon Multy is said to feature 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 3,120 mAh battery, a 20MP camera, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (which suggests to me that this thing’s been in the works for a while). According to Blass’s source, the phone will be available from AT&T for $650 starting in October.

It’s an interesting idea… but at a time when there are plenty of options for folks looking for a phone with a 6+ inch display, it’s unclear how much demand there will be fore a device like that’s only a little larger than a Samsung Galaxy S8+ or Galaxy Note 8 when used in tablet mode.

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5 replies on “ZTE Axon Multy leak suggests dual-screen phone that unfolds to become tablet”

  1. I honestly, I really liked the idea of the Kyocera Echo but the implementation was just so bad that no one tried it again. I’m going to be quietly hopeful, because I still like the idea but I doubt ZTE will be the company that can make it work.

  2. Is it just me or does it look like a Nintendo DS? Needs a much bigger battery if it is going to power two screens. Also, how do you carry this thing around? With screens on both sides at least one is bound to get scratched.

  3. Sounds like it’s going to be thick with crappy battery life and not much after-sale firmware updates. Nice concept but pass.

  4. While the screen diagonal is little bigger than the Note 8 the aspect ratio is almost square so the screen area is much larger.

    1. True.
      In tablet form: 6.8in, 114.7 x 129.1mm (148.13cm2), 1920 x 2160 (16:18)
      In phone form: 5.18in, 114.7 x 64.5mm, (73.97cm2), 1920 x 1080 (16:9)

      @Brad
      There’s no excuse to have a line in the middle.
      We now have OLED displays that can be cut out, shaped, and are flexible.
      So this device can basically be like a laptop that opens and closes, however, the screen is on the outside and above the hinge, and the screen could move ever so slightly as the device is opened and closed. Except that concept not in a laptop size, but in a small tablet size.

      There are some caveats. Firstly, the area of the screen where the hinge is might not display at the same quality as the rest of the screen… basically a QC and Wear’NTear issue.
      Secondly, the screen at the hinge is susceptible to breaking. Just like the Galaxy Note 4 Edge.
      Thidly, when the device is folded closed, it means one side is above another, so the thickness doubles. I guess if each side is 5mm, and when folded the total thickness becomes <11mm's it would be okay, otherwise, it becomes real unwieldy, real fast.
      And lastly, the device would need a decent amount of bezels to fit in the earpiece, front camera, and speaker… so it might get 75% Screen to Body, but not much more.

      However, the trade-off's/compromises are worth it if you're the type of person who actually likes using tablets but doesn't want to bring them outdoors.

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