It looks like 2019 will be the year of foldable smartphones. OPPO’s Product Manager Chuck Wang today announced that the Chinese manufacturer will be unveiling its foldable smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 scheduled to be held from 25 to 28 February in Barcelona. Interestingly, Samsung’s yet-to-be-named foldable smartphone is also rumored to launch at the same event while Huawei has previously confirmed that they will launch its foldable smartphone early next year.
OPPO has filed multiple patent designs regarding its flexible smartphone. The first patent shows an inward folding design that has small airbags to prevent damages from the opening and closing of the screen. The second design published this year in February shows three display which appears to have dual displays when folded. The third display is to be used when the device is fully stretched. The third design, OPPO uses a fold-out design but without protection. There were multiple versions of the design, one using a rotating mechanism while other uses a combination of a hinge and rotating mechanism. When fully stretched it takes out the form of a tablet and when closes it looks like a smartphone. The selfie camera, sensors, and earpiece are placed on the right side while the rear camera and LED flash are on the left.
Samsung gave a glimpse of its Infinity Flex Display at the annual developer’s conference (SDC) 2018 along with a One-UI for its foldable smartphone but will be later available for non-foldable smartphones too. The display is an elastic OLED which folds vertically while the UI is being developed with help from Google and Android developers. It can keep three apps open at once making most out the big space provided by the foldable panel.
Wang didn’t mention anything about the specs of the smartphone. However, he did mention that the company plans to launch a 5G smartphone in 2020 and its first smartphone with display cut-out in 2020.
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