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

TCL’s triple folding prototype system can grow to be 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 screen was not. This week, nonetheless, we had an opportunity to get our fingers 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 system. 

When totally opened you’ve 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 system. 


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Playing with TCL’s triple-screen foldable


You can also take it all the way down to only one display screen in a extra conventional phone-like system. It’s divided into three segments, every containing a 6.65-inch show and its personal battery. As you may think about, once 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 system adjusted to every display screen opening and shutting, however a lag was noticeable when switching modes, though that is to be anticipated of an idea system like this. It’s clearly not but able to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate XS


When totally folded, the prototype is extremely thick. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Stefan Streit, TCL’s common supervisor of world advertising and marketing, stated in an interview that the still-unnamed system is considered one of 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 greatest recognized within the US for its excellent TVs.

Other ideas embody a clamshell system 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 screen 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 truly have the ability to purchase any of those units, by Streit says a foldable system 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 12 months. 

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