The new smartphone that TCL is working on should be presented during MWC 2020, however the company itself canceled its trip, even before MWC officially canceled the event due to the coronavirus.
Foldable devices like the Huawei Mate X, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razr seemed to have set a standard for the format of smartphones with flexible screens. However, TCL is working on a smartphone that has a screen that slides instead of unfolding.
Based on the images obtained by CNET, the device has a sliding screen, which is hidden in the body of the smartphone, turning it into a tablet. I had not yet seen this design, nor in the patent filings that we previously reported.
According to reliable sources, this device would be presented during the Mobile World Congress this month, unfortunately the largest mobile technology fair in the world was canceled in response to health concerns related to the global spread of the coronavirus.
Looking at the photos, the design of this TCL concept smartphone seems to use a flexible screen to create a tablet using a sliding mechanism. The screen would slide to the right and somehow "fit" between the left fixed screen and the right part that brings the front cameras.
We will then have a flexible screen that would somehow come out of the device by adjusting the left and right sides in height. It is noticeable in the leaked photos that there is a division on the right side of the device, which would be where it should be "pulled" to open the screen that is housed inside the smartphone.
It is not clear exactly how the internal mechanism would work, but you can see by the size that the screen does not unfold and much less unfolds, I believe that it is used only to keep the height between the sides equal, we will certainly have two bumps, but the idea here to keep them minimally noticeable.
Looking at the extended rear, you can see that the screen shows a rigid protection that goes back to its tablet-shaped structure. This intriguing design, as it aims to deliver the same tablet mode as the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold without having to fold the screen.
This would allow, for example, to have the entire set of hardware inside the smartphone itself, without having to share batteries and components, only the screen that would demand in theory only the existence of a flat cable resistant and large enough to stay in motion along with the hidden screen.
The design of the TCL conceptual device appears to be based on the TCL 10 Pro (which is very similar to the Galaxy S10), a beautiful smartphone under $ 500 that TCL launched in January during CES.
TCL has already presented several conceptual smartphone designs in the past year, displaying at least half a dozen foldable device prototypes, including one with a three-fold screen. With the cancellation of MWC, there is no telling when we will be able to see this new device up close.