Motorola foldable phone/tablet hybrid is in the works, patent suggests

A new patent from Motorola has shown off an intriguing design for a new phone that could see its screen unfold when you want to use it as a tablet, without sacrificing the portability of the phone. 

First discovered by LetsGoDigital, the patent shows off a design that’s not dissimilar to the ZTE Axon M. In phone mode the handset has a screen on both its front and rear, and you can open it like a book to put it into tablet mode. Granted, it’s like you’re reading the cover and back-cover of the book, but the analogy still works.

Aside from that the patent is pretty light on details, aside from showing off the location of a pair of cameras that appear to be designed to work best in phone mode.

Motorola isn’t the only phone company to be working towards a folding phone future. Samsung has the long-rumoured Galaxy X smartphone that we’re expecting to see before the end of 2018, and Apple has filed for folding phone patents of its own.

The future of smartphones?

A true folding phone is considered to be the holy grail of future smartphone tech, and would theoretically allow handsets to eventually replace tablets and maybe even laptops by having screens big enough for productivity-focused applications.

But so far no manufacturer has really been able to get the hardware right. OLED screens are getting pretty good at bending, but getting them to fold completely is another matter entirely.

Motorola seems an unlikely phone manufacturer to finally crack the folding phone form-factor. After all, folding phones won’t be cheap, and Motorola’s biggest strength is currently in the budget category, where phones like the G6 offer great levels of performance.

But if it’s got the talent to solve many of the problems with budget phones, then it could well have exactly what it takes to make a viable folding phone.

Do you think the folding phone has the potential to revolutionise mobiles, or do you think it’s nothing special? Get in touch with us @TrustedReviews.