In 2018 the first real folding smartphone is expected. Which manufacturer will be allowed to write this important innovation to his name? Manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Huawei, LG, Oppo and ZTE all have a foldable smartphone in development. Lenovo / Motorola also joins the fight and can sometimes go further with the development process than many people think.
Two years ago Lenovo already showed two concepts of Motorola foldable smartphones at the World Tech Event. One had a flexible screen that could be rolled up around your wrist. The other was a smartphone that once folded open unfolded into a tablet. A new patent has also been granted to Motorola from the second concept.
Foldable Motorola smartphone unfolds to tablet
Motorola Mobility LLC filed a patent application with WIPO on 13 September 2016 for a ‘Three-part foldable housing supporting multiple use positions in an electronic device’. The patent was approved on 13 March 2018 and was published two days later.
The design of the foldable smartphone is somewhat similar to the prototype. When opened, the user has two complete telephone screens at his disposal, resulting in a tablet format.
The main camera is positioned at the top left, the loudspeaker at the top right. This was exactly the opposite for the concept model. In addition, this design offers space for a second camera, right next to the loudspeaker is the front camera. The two cameras can also be used together to record stereo images, creating a 3D effect when reviewing the images.
In the middle there is a hinge at the top and bottom. In the bottom hinge there is another loudspeaker built in, with directly next to the microphone. The battery is in the right housing. Once folded, the two displays are on the outside. This is easier to achieve because the display is bent over a larger radius in such a case.
Foldable smartphone with protective case
The patented Motorola smartphone has three parts. The first two parts have a flexible display, the last part is a cover. Very handy, because how else can you protect the device during transport. The case is also simply removable.
The foldable phone can be charged wirelessly via the case. There is also a recess for the camera and a viewing window, so that part of the display remains visible in closed position. The side of the cover has a small upright edge, which makes it easy to set up the phone. Then you have a screen on both sides for watching videos or playing games.
Motorola folding smartphone in 2018?
At MWC 2018, Lenovo’s CEO Yang Yuanqing has issued signals that the company is working on a smartphone with a folding screen. Whether this smartphone will fall within the Motorola Razr series or become a completely new product remained unanswered. However, the CEO made it clear that he hoped for a quick realization.
Yang Yuanqing commented that “With the new technology, especially foldable screens, I think you will see more and more innovation on our smartphone design. So hopefully what you just described [the Motorola Razr brand] will be developed or realized very soon.”
It is still difficult to predict how far Lenovo is with the development process and which product or products are involved. In any case, this patent seems a logical continuation of the concept shown two years ago.
The VivaTech Paris conference will begin in Paris on May 24, 2018. The CEO of Lenovo is also present at this tech event. Perhaps this will again reveal a corner of the veil.