Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have already launched foldable smartphones. While the form factor has mainly been inward folding or outward folding, these companies have also pushed flip form factor. Now, TCL is showing the future of foldable devices with its triple folding device. The device joins the slide out device that appeared last month. Now, the company has confirmed that its foldable device has gone way past its prototype stage.
TCL triple folding phone: All you need to know
TCL first showed its triple folding phone in October last year. Back then, it had a working design but the screen did not work well. Almost six months later, TCL is showing the prototype device once again with a working screen. The highlight here is not the screen itself but the “DragonHinge” mechanism which allows the triple fold to work well. The Chinese electronics company seems to have made progress with the hinge as well as the display.
The triple folding phone, when fully opened, will transform into a 10-inch tablet. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which opens into a 7.3-inch canvas, the TCL design can be dubbed as a proper tablet experience. The real beauty of the hinge is that you can fold so that only two screens are open. The unused portion of the device can be tucked away. The DragonHinge also seems to work at different angles. Can you use it as a smartphone? Well, the answer is Yes. When folded, you get a smartphone with a screen size of 6.65-inches.
The crazy part being that all the three screens have their own batteries. This makes TCL’s triple folding device thicker than other foldable smartphones in the market. It also becomes an unconventionally thick smartphone to use in one hand. The easiest way to describe it would be three phones put together on top of each other. As CNET notes, the device runs Android and adjusted to “each screen opening and closing, but a lag was noticeable when switching modes”.
The report also further notes that the device is not yet ready to compete with the likes of Samsung Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate Xs. This triple folding device is one of three dozen prototypes that TCL is experimenting with right now. The devices are an attempt by TCL to expand its own brand in the smartphone market. Other concepts include a clamshell device and a slidable device with rollable AMOLED display. This model uses a motor to extend its 6.75-inch display to a larger 7.8-inch screen.
TCL is not offering a timeline for the launch of these foldable devices. However, it does show that the company is ahead of its rivals in terms of concept and prototype even if it has not released a working device yet. The triple folding and slidable design are the most ambitious in the lineup. However, it is not clear whether TCL will be able to procure display needed to make these designs possible in real life.