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Roll up, roll up! You ain't seen a smartphone like this before

Roll up, roll up! You ain't seen a smartphone like this before

TCL Communication has revealed its latest mobile display innovations with the world’s first rollable extendable display smartphone concept, in addition to a trifold tablet concept. Both products feature dynamic flexible displays. They're only concepts right now, but they look wild.

TCL says it has identified new ways to take advantage of flexible AMOLED display technology with the development of the world’s very first rollable extendable smartphone concept. At just 9mm in thickness, this portable concept is not like anything we've seen before in smartphone design, although we have seen LD do something similar with its TVs. The rollable AMOLED display uses internal motors to extend the 6.75-inch screen to a 7.8-inch display size with the press of a button.

We've seen other tablet-to-smartphone form factors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Royole Flexpai, and the TCL concept also includes split-screen and multi-tasking, among UI enhancements, in a similar fashion. TCL says that thanks to a larger axis and rolled display, the device has no wrinkles or creases in the display, which are commonly found with foldable displays. When not in use, a motor-driven sliding panel conceals the flexible display.

The manufacturer says it has a working prototype of a tri-folding phone too, which uses both of the company’s hinge technologies - DragonHinge and ButterflyHinge - to fold a 10-inch tablet into a 6.65-inch device with a 20.8:9 aspect ratio and a 3K display resolution. It would be the first large-screen tablet to leverage dual hinges and folds to achieve this type of product design. It also features a multidimensional shine with a 3D holographic finish.

Tri fold display concept image 1
The tri-folding concept from TCL communication. / © TCL

The new concepts are part of the company’s development program designed to leverage TCL’s display manufacturing expertise, along with TCL-CSOT, which now includes more than three dozen different product designs.

"With these latest concept devices, TCL has clearly shown that there is still plenty of room for new ideas when it comes to flexible and foldable display technologies, and it’s critical for us to think outside the box and lead with innovation," said Shane Lee, General Manager, Global Product Center at TCL Communication. "These new form factors leverage display and hinge technologies that already exist entirely within our fully integrated TCL ecosystem, allowing us to reimagine the future of mobile device development with an aggressive research and development program."

No pricing or availability details for either TCL’s rollable extendable display smartphone concept or the trifold tablet. The company has typically been competitive on pricing, as we saw with last year's Plex, but the prices we have seen on the market so far have been sky high. I would be stunned if TCL can get either of these come onto the market for less than $1,000, but we'll see.

What do you think of the rollable and tri-folding concepts? Are you excited to see new types of rollable and rollable displays on the market? Let us know below the line.

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  • I could get behind a rolling display such as this, over a folding display. On the surface, it LOOKS like it would be less stressful on the display, instead of folding it.