Lenovo Demonstrated The Concept of Folding Smartphones and Laptops

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Looking to the future: Leading technology vendors around the world have invested a lot of time and money in next-generation display technology, and Lenovo is no exception. On Tuesday, at the Tech World 22 virtual event, Lenovo CEO Luca Rossi demonstrated two conceptual devices with folding OLED screens. The first was the concept of a foldable smartphone from the 312 Labs team, Motorola’s internal research and development group (Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.91 billion in 2014).

The concept is based on the display and mechanical innovations introduced in Moto folding devices, but with a twist. At rest, the phone’s display is just over four inches tall and is described as extremely compact. At the touch of a button, the screen expands vertically to 6.5 inches, making it ideal for multimedia viewing, web surfing and gaming.

Rossi also shared the concept of a folding laptop that expands vertically to take multitasking, browsing and mobility to a new level. Both are still in the early stages of the concept, but the potential for something special is definitely brewing.

Motorola’s decision to have the phone’s screen expand vertically rather than horizontally, as we saw on LG’s cancelled collapsible phone, is arguably the best implementation of a collapsible display to date. I would really like Rossi to show the sides and back of the device to better understand how thick it is and how it works. First of all, it looks practical, and that’s more than you can say about most devices with flexible OLED panels.

As for the laptop, I think a horizontally expanding screen would be the best option. Not everyone will like the vertical extension of the panel, and I have concerns that when fully extended, it will become heavy on top. A display that stretches to one side —or, hell, makes it expand on both sides at the same time — can really help boost mobile device performance.

Let’s hope that Lenovo and Motorola will continue to innovate in these concepts and eventually release something worthy of bringing to market.

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