Unfolding the first trifold phone

Unfolding the first trifold phone


(instrumental music) – Folding phones are boring. Look we’ve had the first
wave of foldable devices and they’re neat, but you’ve
seen all that already. This is about what comes next after the current generation of foldables. Sling like the tri-fold from TCL, a wild new concept, folding
tablet, phone thing. (techno-music) Unlike most foldables the
tri-fold has two hinges, which lets it fold up into thirds . You can use it as a phone, you can unfold it once
to use as a bigger screen or fold the unfolded
into a full size tablet. It’s not a half way compromise
like some of the other foldables that we’ve seen which basically turn into just slightly
wider phone displays. This is a full blown tablet. It’s nearly as big as an iPad, but you can still fit it in your pocket. The screen folds from a 10 inch tablet down to 6.65 inch phone. You could also open it two-thirds the way and ya know prop that up it’ll auto rotate so you can use in whatever
orientation you want. There’s a lot of weird use cases that you could probably use this for. The screen on this one is a 3k panel, but again that’s just this prototype. We have no idea if the finished
version will have that, but the tri-fold shows just
how hard it’s gonna be to turn these ideas into reality. I’ve gotten to play around
with the prototype for a bit and it’s really rough to use right now. It is incredibly heavy for a phone. It’s got those big metal hinges
and there are three separate batteries to power all those displays, it’s basically three phones. And even though it’s really
thin as a tablet the phone mode is super thick and that’s
before your worrying about things like the software, which is basically non-existent. Durability which is a huge question or price which who even knows. (techno music) But looking even further into the future. TCL also had a very early
mock up of a rollable phone. This is really cool idea
that’s a phone that has a fully flexible display that
slides around the side and behind the phone. And it could roll back out
and become a larger display when you need more space. The way it will, in theory, work is that there’s gonna be motors
on the inside of the phone and you’ll press a button
and it’ll expand out from a 6.75 inch display
to a 7.8 inch screen. Now that doesn’t sound like a
lot, but your actually getting almost double the screen space
it’s almost twice as wide. The whole system is actually
pretty similar to the rollable Oled TV that LG’s been
showing off for years. Now again this is a really early concept, it’s not even a functional
device, just plastic and a screen that’s literally
just a sheet of paper. Is this a good idea? Who knows. It does avoid some of the
issues of current foldables, like those easily breakable hinges and the creased display which is cool. But it’s almost guaranteed
to have issues of its own. Moving parts they’re tricky. Now the tri-fold is
just a proof of concept and the plastic sliding one even more so. You won’t actually be able to
buy either of these devices and it’s not clear if TCL’s
actually gonna make products based on these concepts in the future. So why should you care. Well, first of all, because it’s cool. I mean look at this thing
it’s a phone that unfolds into a giant full size tablet. And it actually turns on and runs android, it’s like a science fiction prop. But it’s also important,
because TCL is planning on eventually making
foldable and rollable phones that might actually look like these. Possibly as early as next year. The company says that it’s
experimenting with dozens of different form factors right now. So it’s possible that phones like these, could be real one day. Look phones have basically been the same for the last decade. Black boxes with touch screens. Devices like the tri-fold
or that sliding concept, even if they’re not here yet, show off what the future phones might one day look like. And that’s really exciting idea. Thanks so much for watching. If you want to see more videos
about cool phones check out our Galaxy S20 ultra review. You can actually buy that one. Check out the review. See if you want to. And like and subscribe for
more great videos like this.

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