CES in Las Vegas is the largest trade show for new consumer electronics. This year, a number of manufacturers showed foldable devices. TCL, Lenovo and Intel flaunted concept phones and prototypes of upcoming electronics with flexible displays.
Chinese manufacturer TCL showed a phone that folds in half like a wallet. Unfolded, it’s a tablet sized device and folded it becomes a pocketable phone. CNET was allowed some hands-on time with it and made the video below. Last year at Mobile World Congres, TCL (and its subsidiary display maker CSOT) showed several prototypes of foldable devices, but they were not fully functional Android phones yet. The device shown at CES did seem to be fully operational. It has 4 camera’s on the backside, with a standard, macro, tele and wide-angle lens. The resolution of the standard focal length camera is 48 megapixels, but it has no front-facing camera.
Lenovo unveiled the release date and price of its earlier announced foldable laptop. It will come out in the summer of this year and will have a pricetag of $2499. The ThinkPad X1 Fold (pictured below) will have a 13,3″ display that will fold in half. It will run Windows 10 on unannounced Intel silicon. When unfolded, the laptop measures 30cm x 23 cm x 0.8 cm, whereas folded it wil shrink to 16cm2 x 23cm x 2.8 cm.
Intel showed a similar design concept, a foldable screen laptop with a 17 inch display (unfolded). It has a snap-on keyboard that obscures part of the display and leaves a 12″ screen free. The keyboard can be stored inside the gap that the foldable display creates when closed. The device runs PC software (Windows 10) and is a working prototype with codename ‘Horseshoe Bend’.
Finally, Chinese manufacturer Royole showed a smart speaker with built-in flexible display. The Mirage Smart Speaker is basically an Amazon Echo with an 8″ foldable display wrapped around the body. It can show album art and song information when playing music. Display the weather or news headlines. Or show incoming messages from your mobile phone.