We’re only just getting to know the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo, but the firm is already springing a spin-off on us. The new IQOO company is already preparing to debut its first handset, judging by renders shown off in China.
Images posted to the Weibo social network show a double-screened handset that folds out into a larger tablet-style device. The unnamed phone offers a different form factor than what we expect to see with the forthcoming Galaxy X smartphone, which has an external screen which opens out to reveal a separate larger screened 7.3-inch tablet.
The renders (via GSM Arena) appear to showcase quite an ambitious vision for a foldable smartphone with a super slim-line body and no visible ports. It could be that this design is still a concept that is yet to be recreated as a fully-functioning, consumer-ready smartphone. However, rumours from China suggest this phone could cost the equivalent of $1,000, if and when it goes on sale.
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Naturally, the IQOO phone appears to be running the Android operating system, albeit heavily skinned by a user interface.
Samsung and IQOO won’t be alone in launching foldable phones this year. We’re intrigued by the prospect of the Motorola Razr flip phone’s potential return as a handset with a foldable screen, while Huawei is promising to bring the world’s first foldable 5G phone to MWC later this month.
In late January, Xiaomi also teased a double-folding phone, which actually folds in two places to create a smartphone/tablet hybrid.
The company said: “This symmetrical double-folded form perfectly combines the experience of the tablet and mobile phone, which is both practical and beautiful.”
Will foldable phones be the tech story of 2019? Or does the conventional handset still have a little gas left in the tank? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.