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Trifold phones

March 5, 2020.

TCL’s Trifold.

TCL’s Trifold. © Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge.

Mobile phone manufacturers are tripling down on foldable phones. TCL unveiled a bold concept for a phone with two hinges and three displays, making it both a phone and a tablet. Unfolded, this functional prototype has a 10-inch diagonal (25.4cm) display, slightly larger than an iPad 9.7. But it still has a ways to go to be a marketable product. First, the device is quite heavy with its two sturdy hinges and the battery needed to power that amount of screen real estate. Second, there aren’t any truly optimized applications, and Android isn’t suited yet for this kind of device. Finally, existing bi-fold phones all have reliability issues and easily climb above $1,500; imagine what a tri-fold phone would cost!

YouTube, “Unfolding the first trifold phone.”

Circuit Breaker, Chaim Gartenberg, “TCL’s new foldable and rollable concepts imagine a wild future of phones.”