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Oppo’s new patent is a whole different kind of folding screen

Smartphone manufacturers seem absolutely hellbent on eliminating the bezel, and that includes the notch. Chinese manufacturer Oppo has been at the forefront of this with its pop-up camera in the Find X, but a new patent uncovered by LetsGoDigital suggests that could just be the beginning.

Rather than just hiding away the camera behind a regular display, the patent seems to suggest the phone could have a whole second screen along the top of the handset which moves out of the way to reveal the front-facing camera underneath.

The patent has a couple of example as to how this might work, including the screen popping up and, more unexpectedly, flipping open on a hinge.

A silver-black Audiolab M-Dac Nano kept beside it's charger on a carpet

I assume this means that the second strip of screen would work in tandem with the first, stretching to fill both, but it’s conceivable the top one could just be for notifications, battery life and the time. If that’s the case, it has quite a bit in common with the long forgotten LG V20.  

This is all hypothetical, of course. Although the patent was filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation last October, there’s no guarantee that Oppo will ever do anything with it – indeed, it may simply exist to prevent others getting there first.

At the same time, this is Oppo, and given it debuted the pop-up camera in the Find X it wouldn’t be wholly surprising if this is the way the company is thinking. We weren’t wholly take with the pop-up integration, which proved to be something of a dust trap. As Alex wrote in our review: “Store the Find X in your bag or a pocket for just a day and you’ll notice all manner of dust and lint acumulating within the mechanism.”

Hopefully Oppo is one step ahead of that particular problem with any second-screen solutions it may have up its sleeve.

Does the patent solve the notch problem? Is the notch a problem at all? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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