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TCL's DragonHinge lets phones bend and fold

The company, known for its TVs and Alcatel and BlackBerry phones, shows off a handful of foldable phone prototypes at MWC 2019.

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Shara_Tibken.jpg
Shara Tibken
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
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1 of 20 Shara Tibken/CNET

TCL has created a "DragonHinge" mechanism to enable a wide variety of foldable devices. It showed off several prototypes during MWC in Barcelona. 

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One version has screens on the inside and closes like a book. 

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Instead of sporting two screens on the outside and one on the inside, this concept design has an LED clock. 

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The back could have something like a light-up clock. 

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This foldable concept device doesn't close completely. It leaves a bit of a lip that could be used for a small notifications screen.

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TCL only allowed the prototypes to be photographed under glass. 

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TCL showed off sketches of other possible foldable devices. 

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Here's a close up.

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You can see more sketches here.

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Another model closes more like a flip phone. 

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The prototypes use custom flexible AMOLED displays from TCL's sister company China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT). 

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TCL doesn't expect to launch any foldable devices until 2020. 

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TCL's prototype lets different apps run on the two sides of the screen.

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Check out a few more shots.

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Read more about TCL's "DragonHinge" foldable phones and concept devices here. 

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