A triple folding phone? Hands-on with TCL’s working DragonHinge prototype

TCL’s triple folding prototype gadget can develop into a 10-inch pill. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

When we final noticed TCL’s prototype for a crazy triple folding phone last October, it was within the preliminary levels. The idea was there, with the “DragonHinge” permitting it to bend in a number of instructions, however a working display was not. This week, nonetheless, we had an opportunity to get our arms on the wacky phone-tablet hybrid, and whereas it’s nonetheless very a lot a prototype, the corporate is making some progress and now has a functioning gadget. 

When absolutely opened you’ve got a 10-inch pill with a big plastic show. You may also fold it in order that solely two screens are open, with the unused portion both tucked away or used to prop up the remainder of the gadget. 


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Playing with TCL’s triple-screen foldable


You can also take it all the way down to only one display in a extra conventional phone-like gadget. It’s divided into three segments, every containing a 6.65-inch show and its personal battery. As you’ll be able to think about, while you fold all three layers down, it is extremely thick. Unsurprisingly, it feels as in case you had three phones stacked on prime of one another.

Running Android, the gadget adjusted to every display opening and shutting, however a lag was noticeable when switching modes, though that is to be anticipated of an idea gadget like this. It’s clearly not but able to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate XS


When absolutely folded, the prototype is extremely thick. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Stefan Streit, TCL’s common supervisor of world advertising, mentioned in an interview that the still-unnamed gadget is one in all three dozen prototypes that TCL is experimenting with as the corporate appears to be like to enter the worldwide phone market with its personal model. TCL is finest recognized within the US for its excellent TVs.

Other ideas embody a clamshell gadget that the corporate demoed at CES in January and a new slideable with a rollable AMOLED display that makes use of a motor to increase its 6.75-inch display to 1 that’s 7.eight inches. Streit says the corporate has been working with Google to optimize Android for its many foldables.

Read extra: Instead of folding, TCL concept phone has a slide-out screen

There’s no timeline for when, or even when, you will really be capable to purchase any of those gadgets, via Streit says a foldable gadget of some type from the corporate will arrive within the first half of 2021.  

TCL introduced at CES that it plans to launch a more traditional phone called the 10 Pro within the US this yr. 

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