Skip to main content

TCL's Fold 'n' Roll concept phone looks equal parts crazy and cool

There's nothing wrong with the tried and true slab form factor we've all grown deeply familiar with over the last decade and some change. Nearly all of the best Android phones these days are some variation of a glass and metal sandwich with a tall, narrow aspect ratio that's both comfortable to hold and spacious enough for today's widescreen videos.

That form factor isn't going away any time soon, but while I love the Pixel 5 that I use every day, I also love more experimental phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and even the LG Wing (pouring one out for you, LG). Phones that push the boundaries not just of how powerful a phone can be, but what a phone should be.

Foldables and other types of shapeshifting devices aren't for everyone, at least not yet, but for the right user, they offer incredibly powerful features and tools that simply can't happen on more traditional devices, no matter what processor or camera tech you throw at them. There's power — not to mention style — in folding your phone out to a tablet-like form factor for split-screen multitasking or rotating your top display to reveal a smaller panel that can be used for things like camera controls and texting.

All of this is to say that expandable devices are incredibly exciting. For as refined as the Z Fold 2 was last fall, I can't remember the last time I've wanted to get my hands on a piece of tech as badly as when TCL showed me its new Fold 'n' Roll concept devices in a briefing last week.

The design of this phone is wild. TCL didn't have a working unit to show me, but the mockup model was barely thicker than the company's other newly announced phones, yet folded out into what the company is calling "phablet mode," extending from 6.87 inches to 8.85. That isn't particularly impressive on its own; Samsung and Huawei have been doing this type of design for the last couple of years.

TCL Fold 'n' Roll

Where the Fold 'n' Roll sets itself apart is ... well, with its rolling tech. Once you're in phablet mode, the left half of the device extends out even further to offer a full 10-inch tablet experience. This is the first device I've seen that truly lives up to the promises of a full-sized tablet that fits in your pocket, and I can only imagine how useful this could be, especially when paired with a portable Bluetooth keyboard and stand. But of course, this device has a few hurdles to clear before it can hope to sell in droves.

First off, the device needs to be real. TCL has yet to turn any of its wild concept devices into actual products an average consumer can buy, and while the company says it's on track to release its first commercial flexible device sometime this year, there's no further word on which device that'll be. I'm hopeful it'll be the Fold 'n' Roll, which may need a bit of a rebrand before it goes up for sale, but only time will tell.

I almost wish I'd been able to go to CES this year, just to go hands-on with this concept.

Along with this, I have a lot of questions when it comes to the design. Traits that work in one form factor may not perfectly translate to another; there's certainly appeal to a thin foldable, but when using this device in full-on tablet mode, will making it pocket-friendly make it feel too flimsy, particularly around the rolling portion of the screen?

What about ingress protection? How will TCL protect the screen from harm, since it sits on the outside of the phone, as we've seen before on the original Huawei Mate X?

There's also the matter of pricing and availability. We have no word on when or even if this phone will ever be available for purchase, but all of this experimental tech likely means we'd be looking at a prohibitively high price. With that being said, TCL is typically known to provide great value with its handsets, undercutting the competition while retaining impressive build quality and display tech, so it's anyone's guess what this type of phone could cost.

In all honesty, the Fold 'n' Roll may be the first device that's made me wish CES had been in person this year, as per usual. There's no telling if TCL will ever ship this device, but I would've loved the chance to go hands-on, even if only with a mockup.

Even if we never get to see this particular device in person, TCL is laying out the groundwork for other manufacturers to bounce off of this design concept and potentially develop their own versions further on down the line. I definitely hope we see more devices like this soon, and in the meantime, I'll be pushing to get a review unit of the Fold 'n' Roll. Maybe someday.



Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Genshin Impact: When does Update 2.0 release in my region?

Best answer: Server maintenance for Genshin Impact Update 2.0 will begin at 6 a.m. China Standard Time on July 21 (6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on July 20). Maintenance is expected to last around five hours and will occur simultaneously for everyone. Does Genshin Impact server maintenance vary by region? Regardless of what time the server maintenance occurs, it will happen simultaneously for everyone. Server maintenance generally lasts around 5 or 6 hours, but given that Update 2.0 is the biggest one yet, it could potentially take even longer. Update 2.0 will release worldwide on July 20 or 21 depending on your time zone. What does Genshin Impact Update 2.0 include? There's a whole lot of content coming with Genshin Impact Update 2.0 . One of the biggest additions is the Inazuma region, which will be the first major region to be added to the game since its launch. It consists of six major islands with ports, mountains, shrines, villages, and more. With Inazuma also comes a new A

How to watch Love Island 2021: Live stream the new series online

Are you ready for another summer of love? A new group of hopefuls is set to descend on the Balearic Island of Majorca for the UK's most talked-about TV dating show. Watch every match-making moment with our Love Island 2021 live stream guide below, and watch the show no matter where in the world you are. After a coronavirus-enforced break from the screens last year, the show returns with Laura Whitmore back to host the romantic action and comedian Iain Stirling once again providing his wise-crackingly sarcastic voiceovers. There's £50,000 up for grabs for the reality show's winner, but that's likely to be some way down the pecking order of what's on the mind of the twenty-something contestants taking part. Viewers in the UK have been given an early glimpse of this season's hopefuls who include a teacher who has never been on a date before and the show's first physically disabled contestant. The last series to be broadcast from Mallorca was won in 201

There are many ways to copy and paste things from your Chromebook

It should come as no surprise that as time has passed everyone by, the best Chromebooks have progressed and become true productivity machines. And while there are a lot of awesome Chromebook tips and tricks that you won't find elsewhere, you'll likely want to know how to do some of the more basic tasks. One such task performed a plethora of times per day is simply copying and pasting text or other items from one place to another. So here's how you can copy and paste on a Chromebook. How to copy and paste with the touchscreen Locate the text that you wish to copy and paste. Double-tap the screen on the text that you wish to copy. Drag the highlight handles to highlight all of the text you want to copy. From the pop-up menu, tap Copy . Navigate to the area where you wish to paste the text. Tap and hold in the space where you wish to paste. Tap Paste from the menu that appears. Using the touchscreen on your Chromebook can be a bit finicky from time

Unmaze for Android is a stunning adventure through a sinister labyrinth

In a world of light and shadow, guide your loved ones through the maze before monstrosity overtakes them. Your little brother and your boyfriend have been missing for two days. Search parties and authorities aren't turning up any leads, and there's been a string of unsolved missing person cases in your town recently. Looking for answers, you find a strange blue crystal and some ominous notes about a lost civilization in your brother's room. And when you look into the crystal, you can see and hear your boyfriend?! This fascinating horror mystery setup is how Unmaze kicks off, and the plot only thickens from there. You play as Ariadne, a young woman trying to help recover her boyfriend, Theseus, and her younger brother, Asterion, from a mystical maze that she can only see through the crystal she found in Asterion's room. This phenomenal, weird title is definitely going in with the best Android games . Mechanically speaking, the gameplay in Unmaze is very simple,