TCL’s foldable phones appear in a series of recently published patents, which were first picked up byMobile Kopen(viaLetsGoDigital). These patents contain renders that outline, in pretty thorough detail, TCL’s take on a Galaxy Fold-esque device as well as a clamshell design that mimics a flip phone, with a large, seamless display once it’s opened up.
This isn’t the first time that TCL’s foldable phones have made a blip on our radar. As you can see in the video above, we got as close as TCL would allow to some working prototypes of its 7.2-inch device at MWC 2019. These renders seem to match up with what was on display, down to the vertical camera module that features three camera lenses.
The company made a big deal of its DragonHinge at its prototype showing, comprised of gears and built to flex the screen in a tactile, reassuring manner. Vlad Savov, formerly ofThe Verge, had a chance to try it out behind closed doors, and he was impressed by it.
Evan Blass posted an image that appears to detail TCL’s product road map. In it, the company’s big foldable phone is given a name — Flextab — which might be coming out in late 2020.
TCL told us that it’s aiming to release a more affordable foldable phone, unlike the nearly $2,000 price tag that Samsung will charge in September when its Galaxy Fold relaunches. It’s sitting at €1,299, which converts to about $1,441. That’s cheaper, sure, but perhaps it’s not cheap enough to convince people to opt for TCL, which is a trusted name in TVs, not phones. There’s still no word on when the clamshell model might release.