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OPPO is the latest smartphone manufacturer to patent a foldable flip phone design. Both Samsung and Motorola have already launched a couple of variants of their foldable flip phones. According to Letsgodigital, the company filed the patent with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) in February this year.
The patent got approved just last week, and it mainly focuses on the clamshell foldable phone’s hinge mechanism. The renders included in the document confirm the OPPO’s flip phone to come with an in-folding design. This will make the display less fragile than the out-folding smartphone.
OPPO working on a foldable flip phone
Unlike Samsung, OPPO is going with the less complicated gear mechanism for its hinge. The enclosure of the hinge sports a total of three cover plates to not allow any kind of dust inside. Moreover, the company wants to use the same hinge mechanism for other foldable smartphones as well.
Since the patent is all about the hinge, there is no mention of other features of the device. There is no confirmation over the presence of an external display as seen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or Motorola Razr. Like other in-folding smartphones, this new OPPO flip phone also has a wide gap between the display when it is folded.
The foldable display on the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has the world’s smallest curvature with a radius of just 1.4mm. OPPO should bring the gap between its display to as minimum as possible. The company might source the displays for its upcoming foldable smartphones from China’s BOE instead of Samsung.
It showcased the first foldable smartphone prototype in February 2019
While Samsung uses Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) protection, BOE’s foldable displays will use CPI (colorless polyimide) for extra protection. The company is yet to officially confirm the launch of its foldable smartphone. Over the last few months, it also patented a few more foldable smartphone designs.
Back in February 2019, OPPO showcased its foldable smartphone prototype. It looked very similar to the Huawei Mate X with the out-folding design. Even a year after the launch of the world’s first foldable smartphone, the durability is still a concern for many.
Also, the premium price tag makes the foldable smartphones limited to early adopters. In the coming years, we can expect the foldable smartphones to come with better protection and a slightly cheaper price tag. To date, we haven’t even seen a single foldable smartphone from several top smartphone brands including Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO.