TCL Releases Revolutionary Three-way Foldable Phone Prototype

12/16/2019     Author: Billy Gray

If you thought that Samsung and Huawei were making waves with their foldable phones, then you’ll be amazed at what TCL is doing with their foldable concept.


Chinese smartphone manufacturer TCL has made a foldable phone that folds not just once, but twice. This is completely new and shows how companies are going to begin competing to make the most unique foldable phones. This new Wild West of the smartphone market is going to be an exciting – although expensive – time for anyone interested in tech.

New frontier for smartphones

At the current time, anyone who makes something that no one has ever seen before will gain an advantage in the field of foldable phones. It’s like when the first iPhone came out: suddenly, everyone realized that there was a totally different way to design a smartphone.

Similarly, now everyone is seeing that foldable phones are the logical way to break the current deadlock that flagship phones have sunk into. The iPhone 11 looked pretty much the same as the iPhone XS; the Galaxy Note 10 looked the same as the Galaxy Note 9; and so on. There just isn’t enough that you can do to a smartphone now and stay original.

Enter: Foldable phones. Now there is a way for manufacturers to design completely new and original concepts to stand out from the crowd. At least, there is for now. Obviously, the technology is still very expensive, which means that there is also room for mid-range devices to come out later on when the tech is more developed and can be implemented at a cheaper cost.

TCL takes the leap

There was a time when people associated Chinese manufacturing with low-quality goods that could be produced for cheap and shipped around the world to satisfy the quick spending of people in the West and elsewhere. That time is over. Chinese manufacturing is now so advanced that people are starting to shake off the ‘cheap goods’ stereotype – and nowhere is this more true than in the smartphone sector.

TCL – a relatively unknown smartphone manufacturer – is making its move onto the global market by wowing everyone with their new foldable phone prototype. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X, which both fold in half, the TCL foldable phone has two folds, so that you can even stand it up like a table. This is a very unique feature that we’ve never seen before on a foldable phone. It’ll surely get TCL some brownie points from the tech community, and no doubt draw attention to their other products.

This is likely what the company is trying to do with their foldable phone – it’s prime time for companies to show off what they can do with this new technology, and TCL isn’t about to get left behind.

TCL foldable phone concept

TCL’s foldable phone takes the whole concept in a new direction. The dual-hinge design allows for the phone to be held like a scribe, or folded into a table – it’s pretty damn cool and it’s totally unlike anything we’ve ever seen before – although some 3D artists had rendered concept art of such a design when speculating what the Galaxy Fold 2 might look like.

The phone unfolds fully into a 10-inch screen, which is just nuts. For perspective, that’s a fully two inches on top of what Huawei is offering with the massive Mate X. That’s not to say that you’ll be seeing this thing any time soon – there isn’t a production timeline on this concept yet and no one knows when it might be released, but it’ll be 2020 at the earliest.

There isn’t even a working screen on the device yet, although, there is no reason that TCL can’t just use the same technology that Samsung and Huawei are using for their screens, but double up on it. Theoretically speaking, you could make as many folds as you want in a smartphone – and some companies probably will, just to stand out in the media for a bit, even if the phone becomes nothing more than a fun concept piece.

What do we know so far?

While this TCL phone is pretty far off being a real thing for the time being, we do know a few of the juicy details already. TCL is actually planning on making this thing a reality in the coming year, so they already have some of the specs laid out.

The phone will feature four cameras on the rear, plus a front facing camera. Interestingly, the Huawei Mate X abandoned the front facing camera, and instead turned the rear panel screen into a viewfinder, instead. It appears that TCL won’t take this path, meaning that the phone will most likely have a notch on the screen. With 10-inches of display to work with, we’re sure that this won’t be much of an issue.

We also know that the phone won’t have a headphone jack, which will further steep up the price and require you to have wireless headphones. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering this certainly is not a budget device. To get this thing, you’ll need a lot of disposable cash.

To give you an idea of how much this thing is going to cost, we can compare it to the current foldable phones on the market. The Galaxy Fold from Samsung costs just shy of $2,000, while the Huawei Mate X is a similar price. To keep their foldable phone within the realm of humanly possible pricing, TCL will have to keep it under the $2000 mark, and obviously this is already an insane amount of money to be paying for a phone, by anyone’s standards.

The wrap-up

TCL’s foray into the world of foldable phones starts out with a bang. They seem to be completely ignoring the first step and instead opting for something massive and epic. This is fair game, but whether they can make a sturdy job of it while also keeping it even remotely affordable remains to be seen. Fair play to them for trying, though.

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