Smartphones with foldable displays have been around for a few years, but they aren’t the only option for delivering a phone that can become a tablet. Oppo and LG have shown that rollable displays can also work (even if the LG Rollable will never see the light of day).
But TCL is asking…. why not both? The company is showing of a Fold ‘n’ Roll concept phone that folds at the middle… but when unfolded it can also unroll to give you even more screen space in tablet mode.
The outward-folding display wraps around the device, giving you a 6.87 inch screen that covers most of the front of the phone when it’s folded in half. Flip the screen open and you have what TCL calls an 8.85 inch phablet that has what appears to be something like a 4:3 aspect ratio.
But you don’t have to stop there, because the screen can also be extended further with the press of a button, giving you a 10 inch tablet with an aspect ratio closer to 16:10.
There’s no information about the display resolution or other specs – this is a concept after all. TCL has been showing off foldable and rollable displays and concept devices for a few years, but the company has yet to actually bring one to market.
That should change later this year though – TCL says it’s on track to release its first foldable device later in 2021.
Meanwhile, in terms of phones you can actually buy, TCL is expanding the TCL 20 series with a few new models this week.
The new TCL 20 Pro 5G is a €549 ($650) phone with a 6.67 inch FHD+ AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor, 6GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery. It goes on sale in the UK, Italy, and Portugal tomorrow and should be available in additional markets in the next few weeks.
The TCL 20L swaps those specs for a 6.67 inch FHD+ LCD display, a Snapdragon 662 processor, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 48MP primary camera, and a 5,000 mAh battery, while the TCL 20L+ has the same design, screen, and processor but sports a 64MP primary camera, 6GB of RAM for all models, and 256GB of storage.
TCL sys these phones have starting prices of €229 ($270) and €269 ($320) respectively, and they’ll also hit the UK, Italy, and Portugal starting tomorrow.
I like the design and love how it (kind of) solves the aspect ratio problem. You can have your preferred ratio for reading documents, browsing, and watching movies all in one device (though whether you like the size for each one is up to you). Of course more important is durability. Both of the construction and components. The more you use a device, the faster the battery truly dies and if it’s not replaceable…
You can have 21:9 (closed), or 16:10 (unfolded), or 4:3 (unrolled)… so it’s versatile in that way.
But this is all fake-CGI rendering to make it look competent. In real life I think this is going to be very flimsy, gimmicky, and fragile.
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