The folding phone is still evolving, and there’s a new take on the idea emerging from Oppo just before the end of the year.
It wouldn’t be a year without seeing some sort of crazy phone you can’t hold, and while we’ve seen a foldable or two this year, few have been crazy enough to make us feel like the future has arrived, though Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 2 was pretty spiffy.
Oppo, however, any have the antidote to that, showing off a new concept at the China International Industrial Design Expo, designed by Japanese design studio Nendo, and then built by Oppo as a folding smartphone concept.
The idea is simply a phone that folds several times to be something else, essentially delivering not just a foldable phone, but a rollable phone, using a rollable screen that folds over in various ways to create a phone that could be a notepad, a game console, a flip phone, and even a cute bed-side alarm clock when it’s docked for charging.
Conceptualised as a “slide-phone”, the Oppo concept uses three foldable screens attached by hinges to fold different uses into one phone. You’ll be able to unfold it into a phone, leaving parts of it folded over, or unfold the entire phone into a notepad, pulling out a stylus to take down notes.
It’s not the only unique design Oppo and Nendo showed off, with the “music-link” earphones offering a truly wireless earphone concept that could look like halves of a semi-circle — two curved pipes, really — and that come together to link around a smartwatch, a recharge box, and even a speaker.
“Oppo aims to bring users a delightful product experience with cutting-edge technology and aesthetic design,” said Xiao Bo, Lead Designer for Oppo’s Industrial Design arm.
“This partnership is built upon a conviction that, to create a groundbreaking tech product with the right level of comfort for users, we must focus on ‘human.’ Moving forward, we will double down on this approach by engineering products with a more seamless, user-friendly experience.”
Like most concepts, there’s no indication quite on when this will launch, if it ever will, but it’s definitely exciting, and one of the more intriguing uses for foldable concepts yet.
— Michael Tran (@MichaelTranOPPO) December 14, 2020