When the first foldable smartphones appeared in 2019, not everyone was happy with their form factor. The first devices offered an extended tablet experience rather than a truly foldable smartphone experience. In November, Motorola introduced the Moto RAZR with a clamshell-like design and this proved to be a great way to build foldable handsets. While Motorola didn’t catch many customers due to the lack of specs to justify the price, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Z Flip in February this year and it’s a success.
The device can be folded and become a flip device from the 2000’s era or when unfolded can provide a true smartphone experience. The device still is Samsung’s most successful foldable smartphone to date, and for that reason, the flip concept seems to be a way to go for more companies joining the foldable segment. Apparently, Oppo is preparing its own answer to the Galaxy Z Flip.
The Chinese giant of technology and a leading company when it comes to innovating products seems to be gearing up to unveil its own clamshell-like foldable smartphone. Oppo has filed a new patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The patent was approved and published on September 3. According to the documents, the device uses a rotating hinge with gears. It allows the handset to have four different useable angles.
Oppo clamshell-like foldable smartphone comes without an external display
The talented people at LetsGoDigital quickly produced a set of renders based on the patent images. The renders show a curious fact – Oppo’s foldable handset does not have a cover display. In other words, once you fold the phone, you can’t see who is calling or what notification arrived until you unfold it. The Galaxy Z Flip, for instance, provides a small external display that is useful for these aforementioned scenarios. Despite the lack of an external screen, the Oppo still offers a conventional display when unfolded and a center-aligned punch hole camera. Moreover, judging by the renders the display is quite bezel-less, way more than the Z Flip that has thick bezels on the sides.
The patents don’t reveal the number of cameras in this smartphone. Despite this, the renders show a device with three rear cameras. Well, this is on par with the market’s current standards. It’s hard to see a handset with less than three cameras nowadays in the flagship segment. Except for Pixel devices, of course. Oppo is one of the leading companies in the multi-camera department, so we can expect multiple cameras here as well.
We recommend you to take these patents and renders with a pinch or two of salt. Don’t hold your breath for it, after all, the patent filing doesn’t are an undeniable proof of a device’s existence. Oppo maybe just holding and protecting ideas for use in the future. Of course, we hope that more companies make their entrance in the foldable phone segment. For now, it is under Samsung’s belt.