Lenovo has been toying with the idea of foldable displays for some time now, showcasing a number of concept products that can be bent into different form factors at its various conventions in recent months.
None of those gadgets are really close to becoming commercially available, but the Chinese tech firm seems to be making progress on some of them either way.
At its Lenovo Tech World event last week, for instance, the company showcased a functional version of the Folio, a concept device it first unveiled last year.
The Folio is a 7.8-inch Android tablet with a hinge in its middle that allows the whole thing to fold into a 5.5-inch, dual-screen smartphone-style device.
This video from YouTube user Kim Poh Liaw gets at the idea. You can see how the the app icons and navigation buttons adapt to the different form factors on the fly, and how one of the screens turns into a sort of viewfinder when you fold the device and open the camera app:
The current Folio runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, sports a 1,920 x 1,440 resolution display, and runs on a Snapdragon 800 chipset. It supports eSIM, so it can make calls. The chipset would be severely dated for a device launching in 2017, and the device itself definitely looks like a prototype — but again, this thing isn’t coming out anytime soon.
If it ever does, Lenovo will have to deal with questions of practicality: Having a smartphone that doubles as a bigger screen for movies and reading sounds great, but fitting all of the necessary components is a technical challenge, and the Folio looks pretty chunky in its phone mode today.
It’s also worth noting that Samsung, a mobile giant that also produces displays, is reportedly working on foldable phones of its own. It’s far from the only company working with bendable screens, too. But the Folio is nothing if not futuristic, and Lenovo has made its share of weird products. For now, we can dream.
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