Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds.
Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
ExpertiseContent strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
There's no escaping the fact that
in 2019 cost double what they "should" for the specs they carry. Developing new technology is expensive, from the research to creating the hinge and flexible screen. There's also the premium you pay for owning a futuristic device. But phone brand
is working on a foldable phone that will cost less than the $1,500 foldable
flip phone. (And also less than this concept phone that folds into three parts.)
I first saw the concept for this phone last February at
Mobile World Congress
, but here at CES, I got a chance to play around with a working prototype. The phone is fairly square and opens in the center to reveal a 7.2-inch plastic display bordered by thick black plastic bezels. There's no selfie camera on the inside, but it does have a strip of four cameras along the back, and a deep emerald color with a slight diamond pattern on the back. It's definitely eye-catching.
TCL's new foldable, a $500 5G phone and this gorgeous Galaxy S10 clone
Unlike other foldable phones I've seen, this one has enough tension to stand up on its own and any stage of the fold. Others tend to snap fully open or closed at a certain point. Because of the relatively square shape, it felt natural to hold it in both orientations. I could even see sitting it up and using one half of the screen to type on.
The experience itself was a bit clunky. The software was slow to respond when I rotated the device, and frequently got stuck on a screen. I could actually hear the phone squeak when I opened and closed it -- I'm not sure if this is the hinge or the screen itself.
I'll forgive most prototype foibles like that since the company is making the effort to be transparent about what it's working on. TCL, a brand best known for affordable, high-quality
, said that it has a dozen foldable designs in the mix, from conception to working prototype phase, and not just
, either -- wearables and
products could bend, too.
Watch this: This foldable phone will cost less than the Razr
The brand sees foldable devices as a way to establish the TCL name at a time when phone-makers are scrambling to shake up the slowing industry through new design and the race to adopting
There's no pricing, release date information or even a name for this TCL foldable phone, but we do know that if it comes out this year, it'll be a relatively more affordable option for people who want to try life with a foldable screen.