We've heard so much about the Samsung Galaxy X, Samsung' first foldable smartphone. The device is rumored to be the first foldable smartphone with a single screen. The race for the foldable smartphone now seems to be really heating up. While Samsung leads the charge, many other OEMs like LG and ZTE are also working on a foldable smartphone. Now recent reports suggest that Chinese phone maker Oppo has entered the race. The company has patented a smartphone design that clearly hints at a foldable screen.
The patent shows sketches of a smartphone design with a single flexible display. The device turns inwards, with hinges placed on the outside, so that when the smartphone is unfolded, it becomes one big single display.
Different images in the patent document show different variants of the phone. There's a single camera variant, a dual camera variant with central placement and one with an iPhone X-like camera placement. When folded, the device looks like a phone with a one-sided curved display, irrespective of the side you are using. One of the sides can be used for making calls, while the other can be used for taking selfies with the front camera.
The top and bottom bezels of the phone are quite noticeable in the patent images. However, the side bezels are much thinner and one of them will be literally non-existent when the phone is folded. The aspect ratio of the phone when folded appears to be the traditional 16:9.
As always is the case with these patents, one can never say if and when it will see the light of the day. But it does hint that more and more companies are considering foldable smartphones as the next big thing in the evolution of mobile phones. If all goes right, we might see the first truly-foldable smartphone, Samsung Galaxy X, by the end of this year.