If Chinese electronics company TCL may be better known in the US for its TVs than its smartphones, that’s because the company doesn’t use its own name on phones sold in the US. But if you buy a recent BlackBerry smartphone anywhere other than India, you’re probably using a device manufactured by TCL. The company also sells phones under the Alcatel brand.

The BlackBerry phones tend to stand out by virtue of being, well, BlackBerry phones. Some have keyboards. All have BlackBerry-specific software.

But TCL seems to be looking for other ways to make its upcoming phones competitive. At a time when most major phone makers are developing some sort of foldable phone, it looks like TCL is considering as many as five different concepts designs.

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2 replies on “Lilbits 350: TCL’s folding smartphone plans revealed (maybe)”

  1. Intel “accidentally” leaks 9th-gen mobile chips in response to “8% faster” for the 4th ~~generation~~ sales release in a row.

  2. Design #5 would be the most useful to people.
    They can have a smartwatch, and when required it folds out to be a smartphone. The only issue with this one is that it seems we lack the technology to implement it properly. You’ll have an oversized and uncomfortable watch that doesn’t fit very well and will get annoying for most people. And as a smartphone it will be rather small and full of compromises. Everyone will stop using it as a watch after the first week, and will get angry at the phone portion after a month: they rather prefer separate watch-and-phone combination.

    For today’s technology, Design #2 is most useful.
    Having a regular (rectangle) phone with a screen on the front and back, and a curved side. Not too bad or full of compromises. Then you fold it out, and have a larger (square) screen for some tablet media consumption like watching a movie or playing a game.

    Design #1 and Design #3 aren’t very useful, however, they do protect the screen better than the other designs.
    Design #4 is the least useful and protective of the entire batch. It makes compromises without any advantages besides slick marketing “hey it folds, check me out!”.

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