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Something to look forward to: If the eye-watering expensive foldables from Samsung or Huawei don't seem fragile enough, TCL has a 10-inch tablet prototype that can utilize its two hinges to zigzag into three displays. With the foldable smartphone market still in its infancy, it remains to be seen if the Chinese company can successfully pursue this form factor that appears to be even more challenging and fragile than existing foldable designs.
TCL's accordion style smartphone prototype is looking to change the definition of foldables with a form factor comprised of three screens. The Chinese manufacturer has employed two hinges in the design, where each one folds in the opposite direction, ending up like a combination of the Galaxy Fold and Mate X in one package.
The 10-inch tablet uses a patented "DragonHinge" and a butterfly hinge that results in one fold always appearing on the outside, negating the need for an external display like that on Samsung's foldable. The phone also gets rather chunky when the device folds completely, doing away with any thinness as the body looks like three phones glued together.
A hands-on by CNET shows a non-working prototype with creases visible in the bends. "As with other foldable phones, the act of folding feels physical and visceral in a way that makes me appreciate the engineering feat of any company attempting to make devices whose screens bend in half," notes Jessica Dolcourt.
Other information on the unnamed TCL prototype includes a quad-camera setup on the back, one shooter in the front, and a USB-C charging port. Given that the phone's production is yet to be green-lit, the price can be expected to trump, if not match the current competition.
Image credit: CNET