TCL working on five foldable devices, including a watch-like smartphone

Lawrence Kim
February 20, 2019

TCL builds smartphones under BlackBerry Mobile and Alcatel brands, apart from its own brand.

While foldable devices haven't yet broken out of the tech bubble - mainly because only one has actually gone on sale and it's from a brand not many people have heard of (Royole) -the mobile industry clearly believes they'll be the next big thing. CNET has obtained images and patent filings that show the Chinese company is working on a number of foldable devices.

TCL is working on a family of foldable smartphones, reports CNET, citing company patents and renders. But you'd also be getting cellular connectivity and plenty of storage by opting for this solution rather than a traditional smartwatch. One tablet folds inward like a clamshell, while the other folds outward so that the screen is on the outside of the device, similar to the Royole Flexpai.

The first four designs above show variations of foldable phone designs we've been seeing for months, even years. The former solution could mean the display would be protected when folded, while the latter design may be more likely to get scratched in a pocket, but could provide always-on functionality.

While the details on the TCL's device isn't available now and the rendered image is the only proof that has surfaced.

The firm has previously stated that it hopes to release a folding device by 2020.

These images are preliminary renderings and are subject to change, so no word on specs, pricing, or timing. With a reputation for bringing high-quality consumer products to market at a lower price, TCL is an interesting entry into what is sure to be a very high-priced line of foldable devices once they hit the market. Which folding design would you choose? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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