After showcasing a foldable laptop last month, Lenovo has showcased another breathtaking example of its hardware capabilities. At this year's Tech World event in Shanghai, the Chinese giant has shown off Folio, a fully-functional foldable android tablet that transforms into a smartphone and vice versa.
To recall, Lenovo unveiled similar concept device last year, one that could be folded and worn on the wrist. The new one also builds on the same idea, but instead of bending into a wearable phone, it bends completely from the centre, turning a 7.8-inch tablet into a 5.5-inch smartphone with dual-displays – one on the inside and another outside. The concept embeds best features of both devices into a hybrid gadget that you can easily carry around.
In a video by YouTuber Kim Poh Liaw, a Lenovo professional is seen folding the tablet, to turn it into a smartphone. Interestingly, as the tablet bends, the OS on the device, Android 7.0 Nougat, automatically detects the change to optimise the user interface for a smaller smartphone-based panel. It even turns the rear screen of the device into a viewfinder when you open the camera app, allowing the subject to see how the photograph is being framed.
Lenovo Folio triggers the bending functionality with the help of a hinge given in the middle of the screen. The concept device carries a screen resolution of 1440 X 1920 pixels, supports eSIM for calling, and runs on Qualcomm's dated Snapdragon 800 processor.
Though Lenovo seems keen on the idea, it is still unclear if the Chinese giant ever plans on launching Folio. The device has got the potential, but before actually bringing it into production, the company would want to address the questions on its durability and practicality.
As Business Insider notes, "Having a smartphone that doubles as a bigger screen for movies and reading sounds great, but fitting all of the necessary components is a technical challenge, and the Folio looks pretty chunky in its phone mode today".
Lenovo's latest work suggests devices with flexible and bendable displays might soon be a reality. The technology has existed for a while but hasn't yet been used in a mainstream commercial device. Even Samsung is said to be working on a foldable smartphone - referred to as Galaxy X - but there's no telling when it might be unveiled.