scorecardOnePlus patent hints at a foldable smartphone with three screens
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OnePlus patent hints at a foldable smartphone with three screens

OnePlus patent hints at a foldable smartphone with three screens
Tech3 min read
  • OnePlus seemingly planning on a foldable handset with three screens.
  • According to a patent, the OnePlus foldable phone will have asymmetrical hinges.
  • It folds in the “6” or “G” fold, unlike the Z-shaped folding of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series.
OnePlus had earlier showcased a foldable phone in one of its promotion posts on Instagram, probably to take a dig at Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but now it seems like a foldable phone is in the works. According to BGR, OnePlus has at least one patent that suggests that the company may be planning to launch a foldable handset in the future.

Oppo’s foldable is speculated to launch soon, and with its closer collaboration with OnePlus, a foldable phone shouldn’t be far away. Oppo has also shown a rollable phone, Oppo X, with a retractable screen, while other companies like Samsung might be working on a similar concept.

OnePlus foldable concept

According to the patent discovered by LetsGoDigital, the OnePlus concept for a foldable phone has two hinges and three screens for its large display. While OnePlus started off and has remained in the market for offering performance-heavy phones with high-end specs at a good value, the company's latest offerings are matching the prices of other flagship phones. With a foldable phone on the cards, the company could again offer a foldable flagship killer to take on its competitors.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z fold devices that have a Z-shaped layout where roughly a third of the screen can be used as a display when folded, the OnePlus concept offers a different folding layout. Here, two-thirds of the panel remains outside, with one of them becoming the cover screen and closing down in the “6” or “G” fold.

A render based on the patent shows the concept in tablet mode. It might offer a large display with thin bezels. One interesting thing to note is that the phone seems to have thicker edges on one side than the other as it features two differently sized hinges.

Camera and display
The OnePlus foldable concept looks like they have added an additional screen to the Huawei Mate X which features a foldable display with two screens. The patent illustration and the renders do not tell us much about the camera setup.

It is likely to have a punch-hole front camera or an under-display camera as there is no room in the renders for a notch. The difference in thickness also suggests that one of the screens could be used to place the rear camera set-up.

If this render and patent are accurate, the device may wobble on a flat surface due to the asymmetrical hinges. The patent illustration also shows us a magnetic slider that can be used to lock a phone in a particular fold mode so that it doesn’t get folded or unfolded on its own.

Although this is just a concept and our expectations are just speculations based on the patent and the render, a OnePlus foldable phone shouldn’t be far off. We will get to see what it is like after we hear more from the company itself.

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