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TCL teases a 3-in-1 smartphone that folds and rolls at the same time

India Today Tech     April 15, 2021

TCL has been experimenting with the form factor of its smartphones in last few years. This time it has taken it to another level by teasing a 3-in-1 Fold 'n' Roll smartphone. As the name suggests, the smartphone can fold and roll at the same time to give you not one or two, but three different form factors. The smartphone will allow users to switch between a 6.87-inch phone form factor, an 8.85-inch phablet, and a 10-inch tablet design.

The Fold 'n' Roll smartphone folds out via its Dragon Hinge. This is similar to what we have seen on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 or more recently, on Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold. Interestingly, TCL has decided to use 'phablet' for this form factor. The term became popular with Samsung's Galaxy Note series and is hardly used by any smartphone maker these days.

The 10-inch form factor can be achieved of the phone by sliding out additional screen space from the left side of the device. TCL is calling this the tablet mode. Apart from this, there is no information available about this upcoming smartphone. TCL has announced that it is on track to launch its first commercial device with flexible display tech later this year, though it's unclear if it will also introduce the Fold 'n' Roll in 2021.

TCL says it's "still exploring the technical specifications" of this type of device which suggests that it has no plans of launching the phone in near future. If it manages to price the device aggressively, it will be able to fill the void for affordable foldable smartphones.

Irrespective of the launch timeline, it is good to see smartphone makers experiment with the form factor, especially with LG's recent exit from mobile business. The latter was known for introducing unique smartphones. Most of them failed to achieve commercial success but inspired others to make better use of technology.

Meanwhile, TCL has also expanded its 20 series, originally launched at CES 2021, with three new smartphones - TCL 20L, 20L+, and TCL's most powerful phone yet, the 20 Pro 5G. All three smartphones feature company's TCL's mainstay NXTVISION display tech, which boasts true-to-life colors and blue light filtering, along with AI-driven visual enhancements. A

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