An image showing the harsh reality of the folding smartphone display -- one of the tech world's over-promised, never arriving mythical beasts -- has emerged, and it's not pretty. Hinges, chunky cases, architecturally supportive bezels and more design woes make it clear this test piece built by Oppo is not illustrating an idea yet ready for the mainstream.
The prototype appears to be one large flexible display, stuffed into a hinged chassis. A Nintendo DS without the gaps. You can tell that the lack of rigidity this lends the design means a fat bezel is needed to keep it stable, plus those hinges make it look as outdated as something that might've been prescribed by the NHS in the 1960s to amuse a disaffected and unteachable child.
Given the size of the bezels and hinges it looks like it'd fold into a fat square shape too, meaning you've almost certainly be better off with something rectangular and slimline that doesn't fold.
Also, the world has changed now. When we had flip phones, they were literally just phones. Think about how many times you look at your mobile today, now it can do anything, then imagine how tedious it would be having to unfold a thing each time you do it. Phones without adequate lock screens and tap-to-wake are annoying enough -- how boring would it be unfolding your phone each time you need to see you've not got any new notifications?
There'd have to be a screen on the back of it, and that would be mad. So no, nice idea, but save it for something we unfold once then use for a long time, like... an e-reader. A folding Kindle might work. [Zaeke via Android Community]