The smartphone industry has seen little to no innovation since its popularization by Apple 12 years ago. Since the first full, colored touch display rolled into the market, things hasn’t change a whole. Sure, we have better display, under display fingerprint sensor, and better cameras, but really, as far as usability, smartphones remain largely the same. And I am perfectly fine with incremental innovations, but just don’t ask for crazy prices in exchange. However, things are set to change this year and beyond, as manufacturers are getting serious with foldable devices.
The idea of folding smartphone or tablet isn’t new. It has been experimented over the years, but it is only late last year that we started seeing plausible consumer ready products, starting with Royole FlexPai. And like a tsunami assault, suddenly we are seeing variations from Samsung, Xiaomi and now, even TCL. TCL is not particularly known for phones, but that does not stop the Chinese electronic company from venturing into small devices with flexible displays. Yes. We said small devices because, apparently, the company is working on a few devices with display that folds.
Our source said the devices include 2 tablets, 2 smartphones and a flexible phone that bends into a bracelet that can be worn on the wrist. The latter is not new either; Lenovo have already showed us a working prototype two years ago. Given the technological advancement two years on, it should be totally doable. As for the speculated “2 tablets and 2 smartphones,” they are probably just a tablet and a smartphone. It appears to us that the tablet might just be a large display folding smartphone that can be folded inwards or outwards and not two separate tablets as described by CNET.
The same goes for the foldable smartphone which looks like one device that can be folded inwards or outwards. Beyond the lone render and some patent image filings, little is known about those planned devices. Hell, it is not even clear if there is any concrete plan to make such devices, or it was just a classic case of ’toying with the idea’.
In a related news, we heard TCL is working on 8K Roku TVs that has built-in voice control. The TVs, called 8-Series, will have screen sizes starting at 75-inch and features upscaling for 4K and 1080p content, “the latest HDMI standards,” Quantum Contrast, a new backlight technology using mini LEDs and QLED, and of course, built-in Roku. Some models will get built-in microphone to allow for voice control via Roku Entertainment Assistant. The 8-Series TCL Roku 8K TV is expected to launch in stateside later this year. Pricing is at unknown at this point.
Images and source: CNET.