TCL is showcasing what their upcoming flexible display device portfolio may look like in the future. It has announced its very own DragonHinge Technology. Essentially a prototype of what the final device may look like.
DragonHinge is using some flexible AMOLED display panels from its sister company CSOT. The DragonHinge itself is the hinge that allows the phone to fold. It's a "mechanical housing" for these devices. TCL says that this is going to provide for some "effortless and seamless movement". The actual hinge looks a lot like what Microsoft is using on the Surface Book. Which doesn't fold completely flat. Though most of these foldable device concepts that have been shown, don't fold completely flat, and there is a bit of a gap. But it shows that TCL is getting closer to that foldable phone future.
TCL's general manager of global sales and marketing, Peter Lee stated that "together with the support of our sister company, CSOT, we're showing that TCL can be an innovator and leader in the mobile device market of the future." Lee also added that when looking at the potential of these flexible displays, the company is "excited about what we'll bring to market down the road."
Just because the DragonHinge is available, doesn't mean that TCL has solved all of the issues when it comes to foldable and/or flexible displays. The General Manager at TCL's Global Product Center, Shane Lee, said that there are still three challenges that still need to be addressed. These include "the flexible AMOLED display itself, a durable mechanical housing, and of course the software that can seamlessly adapt to these new form factors."
What TCL is showing here is not a foldable phone. But instead, a flexible AMOLED display with a mechanical hinge that will allow it to fold in half. Meaning that TCL is not quite as far along as Samsung is. Seeing as the newly announced Galaxy Fold will be shipping in late-April. However, TCL is not far behind. It is expecting to ship the first consumer-ready devices in 2020.
At Mobile World Congress this week, TCL is going to be showing off a number of concept products using the new DragonHinge. TCL is experimenting with a number of different use-cases in mind. This includes different shapes and sizes of flexible devices, and possibly one that can fold into a smartwatch. Mobile World Congress opens up tomorrow, February 25, and everyone will get a closer look at what TCL has accomplished, then.
Foldable phones are going to be a big trend in 2019 and moving forward. It's the next big thing for these smartphone companies, seeing as all smartphones look relatively the same. But by making a foldable phone, companies are able to distinguish themselves a bit more. The DragonHinge concept here looks really good, but it is also not a finished product. The bezels are pretty small, especially compared to the foldable smartphones that are actually available and shipping right now. But these flexible displays are going to allow companies to do all sorts of unique and innovative things with smartphones in the next few years.