Will smartphones of the future fit in our wallets? Well, if we are to go by a recent concept smartphone showcased by Chinese smartphone major Oppo, a foldable smartphone that can transform itself from a large 7-inch device to something credit card-sized is a distinct possibility. The new concept smartphone was showcased at the 4th China International Industrial Design Expo (CIIDE) currently underway in Shenzhen, China.
The yet-unnamed concept device from Oppo is simply known as the ‘Slide Phone’ and it was developed in co-operation with Japanese design studio nendo. While the concept might seem a bit far fetched at this point in time, at the rate flexible OLED technology is developing, a smartphone design like this could actually be possible.
We already have very popular first and second-generation foldable smartphones like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Z Flip that have given us a taste of the possibilities that flexible displays can offer today.
As evident from the images, the Oppo concept phone when folded up is only as large as a credit card – albeit a bit thicker. The device measures only 54×86 millimeters when folded. Three hinges allow the phone to be unfolded in several steps. This also gives users the flexibility to use the foldable phone in various form factors and display sizes.
Today, we’re showcasing two new design concepts produced in collaboration with leading Japanese design studio, nendo.
— OPPO (@oppo)
December 14, 2020
A video demonstrates the capabilities that the new Oppo phone brings to the table.
According to Oppo, the ‘Slide Phone’ has a triple hinge feature that will let people use the smartphone in the dimensions or screen size they are most comfortable with.
In the first mode, when you open the first hinge, you have access to a display that measures 40 millimeters diagonally. This is ideal for checking notifications, calls list,s or just controlling music.
If you open the slide phone one step further, you have access to an 80 mm display. According to Oppo, this mode is particularly suitable for recording selfies or for videoconferencing, as the camera can be pointed forward and, if necessary, angled.
If the foldable is completely unfolded, the entire display, which is normally hidden inside the smartphone, is revealed. The designers specify that the display – when fully opened – should measure 7 inches in total. In landscape format, the smartphone can also be used as a portable game console. Furthermore, even a stylus should be accommodated in the case.
Neither Oppo nor the designers have revealed if or when the slide phone will ever go into series production. However, Oppo had filed several patents in the past, which show the work of developers and researchers on devices with multiple hinges.
What do you think of such futuristic smartphone concepts? Are they just wishful thinking for you or something you would actually buy in the future?