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Forget foldables, TCL might change the game with expandable phone

From smartphone past to smartphone future, the Chinese manufacturer TCL is quickly shifting through the gears. After announcing the end of its licensing agreement with BlackBerry last week, today we may have had our first look at an ultra-modern take on the foldable craze.

Leaked renders shared by CNET, show a smartphone that seemingly slides out into a seamless tablet-style display. The report calls it an “expandable display you pull out.”

There are no folds, but judging by the renders, there’ll be a secondary display hiding underneath the main screen. And, if the Galaxy Fold crease was pronounced then surely this would be extremely visible also.

Related: Foldable phones

The renders make things look unconvincingly thin and were not sure how sturdy the device would be if it were to slide out in such a manner. Does it curl beneath the main display? Who knows. It’s going to take TCL announcing this thing, which is clearly a concept at this stage, and explaining it to us for it to make sense.

Two TCL expandable phones standing on white background showing expanded and non-expanded formThree TCL expandable phones standing on white background showing front and back panel with expanded and non-expanded form

According to the CNET report, that was supposed to happen at MWC 2020, but the show has now been cancelled due to fears over the coronavirus. Whether an announcement will be forthcoming remains to be seen. So far, the company is yet to comment on the validity of the leak.

As a standalone phone it looks a lot like the TCL 10 Pro, which was announced at CES as a rival to affordable high-spec handsets from OnePlus.

2020 is looking like the year of the foldable, but the jury is still out on whether they will progress beyond the novelty value. The best bet looks like the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, at present.

A TCL expandable phones standing on white background showing expanded front screen panel

Do you plan on buying a foldable in 2020 or will you be waiting for future generations before hitching your wagon to that star? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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