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.
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.