Lenovo’s first foldable phone likely won’t be the rumoured Motorola Razr (2019), according to a recently unearthed patent filing.
The patent was spotted by Windows Latest. It shows plans for a tablet-style device that can be folded into a phone form factor using a custom hinge mechanism.
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The hinge indicates the screen will be able to fold fully flat “like paper”, which is a step up on some of the other prototype foldable screens we’ve seen. The screens often have a gap where the fold happens, which according to the Lenovo patent is a design risk.
“When the pair of chassis members is closed into a double folded state, a gap is generated between the edge portions on the hing sides of the chassis members. Then, internal elements are exposed from the gap, which has posed problems in the appearance quality, durability and the like of products,” reads the patent filing on FPO.
“The present invention has been made considering the problems of the former technique described above. It is an object of the present invention to provide a portable information device capable of securing the appearance quality or the durability of products while a having a foldable configuration.”
The patent follows rumours Lenovo-owned phone maker Motorola is developing a follow up to its iconic Razr phone that could use a different foldable screen solution and look a lot like the original Razr.
Lenovo and Motorola haven’t released any information on either device and file patents on a regular basis, so we’d suggest taking both reports with a pinch of salt. It could be that the companies have no plans to use either of the patented technologies at the moment. Though it would make sense for the company to eventually make a foldable phone.
Samsung has been teasing a Galaxy X foldable with its ‘Infinity Flex display’ technology for years. The phone is expected to have a limited consumer release at an unspecified point this year.
Furthermore, we went hands-on with the Royole FlexPai at CES earlier this month. It’s safe to say we weren’t exactly bowled over.
Excited about foldable phones or think it’s just a gimmick? Let us know on Twitter @trustedreviews.