TCL Fold N' Roll, a first-of-its-kind smartphone concept, recently made an appearance at the Chinese manufacturer's press event titled "Display Your Greatness."
TCL's Fold N' Roll prototype features the company's very own "dragonhinge" technology, along with an extendable OLED display, to come up with a 3-in-1 mobile device, as per Robb Report.
Fold N' Roll seemingly combines the best of two worlds: being foldable just like Samsung's folding smartphones and being rollable like LG's concept smartphone that consumers saw earlier this 2021.
Dragonhinge technology allows the device to transform into another form factor--from a 6.87-inch smartphone into an 8.85-inch phablet or a 10-inch tablet.
TCL's dragonhinge somehow reminds of the hinge technology used in convertible laptops that enable them to adapt to different modes depending on the user's need.
In the case of the TCL Fold N' Roll, users just have to simply unfold it into its phablet or tablet form if they want to have a larger view of the website, photo or video they are looking at.
TCL Fold N' Roll vs. Other Folding Smartphones
As it is just a prototype, details about the TCL Fold N' Roll features are still scarce at the moment. The Chinese device maker didn't mention anything about TCL Fold N' Roll specs, such as the processor, storage size and the cameras.
Put side by side with other foldable smartphones in the market today, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold2 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, TCL's Fold N' Roll sports a display hinge visible on the device's exterior.
Foldable smartphones have been receiving criticism as they tend to show wrinkles on the display due to repeated use. With that said, there is hope that TCL learned from its competitors' mistakes and the Fold N' Roll would not manifest the same issue just in case they adopt the design for commercial use.
Also known as a television manufacturer, TCL has invested in advanced screen technologies through its parent company CSOT, one of the largest display manufacturers in China, as per GSM Arena. CSOT creates displays for various electronic devices, ranging from smartphones to televisions.
In Q4 2019, CSOT began manufacturing flexible OLED displays. This was followed by the company's announcement of a 17-inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display and a 6.7-inch AMOLED Rollable Display at CES 2021.
The TCL Fold N' Roll is possibly one of the products that manifest the potential of CSOT's flexible panels. CSOT has also sought the help of business partners to see the possibility of using glass in flexible displays.
TCL Fold N' Roll Release Date
Concept designs such as the Fold N' Roll, however, offer no assurance that they will be accessible and available to consumers.
For example, Korean technology giant LG teased the world's first smartphone with a rollable display earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Months later, LG decided to fold up its mobile phone business and announced the move on its official website, which means that the concept smartphone will never hit store shelves.
LG's rollable display technology, however, is still available to consumers with the upcoming availability of the LG Signature OLED R Rollable TV.