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TCL Showcases New Tri-fold & Rollable Screen Displays for Smartphones

TCL Showcases New Tri-fold & Rollable Screen Displays for Smartphones

Last Wednesday, we got to see two new interesting flexible display concepts by TCL. So many mobile device manufacturers are taking a stab at making devices with foldable or flexible screens, like with Samsung’s latest Galaxy Z Flip. Therefore, vendors need to do something unique to stand out from the rest. TCL stepped forward, showcasing two new flexible displays. One concept features a Tri-Fold display while the other display idea expands and rolls into itself.

We got the chance to play with each…

Tri-Fold Display Concept

The Tri-Fold concept uses two TCL-designed hinge technologies, DragonHinge and ButterflyHinge. Using both hinge types in tandem, the Tri-Fold phone concept is able to transform from a 10-inch tablet to a 6.65-inch compact mobile device. The device features a 20.8:9 aspect ratio and 3K screen resolution.

Thanks to the implementation of the two hinge types, you can see that the gap when folded is actually surprisingly minimal. Just like that, you have yourself a 10-inch tablet that you can slip right into your pocket. While these are just concepts that are subject to change, I did like how the folded side display of the folded device featured its own little notification strip. Here, you see the side showing off the date and time, making the collapsed Tri-Fold concept into an interesting tabletop companion to just leave on your desk.

Rollable Display Concept

As interesting as the Tri-Fold concept was, I was personally more taken by the Rollable display concept. Here, you have a 9mm-thick device with a rolling AMOLED display. Collapsed, the phone houses a respectably-sized 6.75-inch display. Then, using internal motors, the device then stretches out, revealing a 7.8-inch display.

Here is how the device would contract and expand, conceptually. The device in these shots was a stand-in model that we had to expand manually.

At first, this manual pullout was how I was envisioning the device to work. However, TCL’s explanation and vision for this Rollable concept made more sense. You would not want users of varying strength forcibly yanking away at their devices, leading to broken screens. It is a “Rollable” screen, not a stretchable one, after all.

Despite housing the smaller “tablet” display of the two, I found myself liking the Rollable concept more than that of the Tri-Fold device. The reason was simple; The Rollable concept featured a slimmer form factor when collapsed. I mean, I love the idea of fitting a 10-inch tablet into my pocket. However, I would feel more comfortable with a 9mm-thin phone in there, in comparison. Just see for yourselves how both phones stack up (literally) when placed side-by-side.

These are early concepts, so there are not any official specs out there to report on either device, just yet. However, as far as flexible display concepts go, each of these shapes up to be pretty interesting once TCL completes each model. Until then, we have to just wait and see.