We've got an update on what TCL is calling the trifold.
This is a concept.
Last time we saw the device, it was a dummy unit.
This time the tri folder was a working model.
Let's walk you through what it's like to get your hands on this very weird device.
When it picked up the tri folder.
It was in its smallest form.
It looked like a triple stack phone.
When it was in this stack, the weight was very noticeable.
It's a hefty, hefty machine.
That makes plenty of sense.
It starts off as a sort of pocketable size device.
It's kind of tall and narrow.
When completely folded the edge of the device can show off extra information.
It's like what Samsung did with the original edge devices.
Then when opened, you're looking at a massive 10 inch screen.
When the weight is redistributed to tablet dimensions, it doesn't seem as heavy.
The screen is definitely plasticky.
When you run your fingers over the display you can feel bumps and ridges when I was cleaning the screen to remove fingerprints for this video A clankly sound could be heard when the cloth went over the screen.
How about actually using the device?
How did it perform?
Okay, not exactly well.
Now TCL was quick to remind me that this was a concept device and not all the bugs were worked out.
I totally agree.
I tried some simple things like opening up apps and using the keyboard.
The kind of work touches did not always register, especially in the middle portion of the screen.
When switching from tablet mode to phone mode, the tri folder was a bit laggy and displaying the proper homescreen for the size of the device.
Now watching video on the try folder was relatively nice though.
A demo video showed off What the tri folder could do.
In theory, there was lots of multitasking with lots of apps up at one time.
Unfortunately, I did not get to experience that multitasking experience firsthand.
The screen seemed nice and sharp when it was in that video mode.
Now let's talk about hinges.
There are two one is a beast the other not so much, but both felt very sturdy.
When I tried to over flex part of the screen beyond the normal range of the hinge, the hinge would not budge.
Now I didn't try too hard if I broke the try folder that could have been a problem.
I also compared the screen of the folder with a new motor razor.
They had a similar feel as could be expected.
What I did not expect was getting the razor stuck to the folders middle section.
There's a very strong magnet in the middle of the middle portion of the tri folder that keeps everything together When the tablet is in phone mode.
Now I asked about what kind of software modifications TCL would have to do to make these devices work well.
A rep told me that they are working with Google to make the experiences on foldables and sliders work well.
The latest version of Android has support for foldables.
TCL is trying some new approaches.
So we'll have to see how things works out.
Here's the bad news.
A company representative said, the tri-folder is not officially coming to the market.
I think for the time being that makes the most sense.
The concept model I got to play with needed a lot of refinement before it would be ready for consumers.
This is more of a foldable tablet than a phone.
For travel, I think it could be amazing though.
I would love to see this kind of function on other androids, or even a Windows machine.
That TCL said it is working on three dozen different concept devices.
Maybe one of them will actually be for sale one day.
I think these wild concepts are always great if interest is high enough TCL could change its mind.
Otherwise, the devices could inspire other companies to try weirder ideas.
If you've got any questions, comments or news, let me know on Twitter, I'm at Iyaz.
Also, I'm releasing a video interview with the head of Google Assistant there, so check that out.
I'm Iyaz Akhtar and I'll see you online.
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