After announcing several new 20-series phones at the “Display Your Greatness” event, TCL showcased a new Fold ‘n Roll concept phone, a smartphone that combines folding and rolling technology to achieve three different form factors. TCL has also announced that it is “on track”
The Fold ‘n Roll builds on concepts we saw earlier this year at CES 2021. It starts out as a 6.87-inch smartphone, unfolds to an 8.85-inch “phablet” form factor, and can be expanded (as a scroll) to a 10-inch tablet.
And unlike the tri-fold concept TCL showed in 2020, the Fold ‘n Roll isn’t obscenely chunky or clunky to hold. It is only slightly thicker than a regular smartphone, thanks to the roller screen technology.
TCL recognizes that the Fold ‘n Roll is a lot of work. Hiding nearly 5 inches of screen in the “smartphone” form factor is a difficult task, so you have an extra screen on the back of the device. We probably won’t see the Fold ‘n Roll on store shelves anytime soon, although TCL has working prototypes and is improving the concept for a future release.
At the end of the ‘Display Your Greatness’ livestream, TCL announced its plans to release a foldable device by the end of 2021. Prices and design for the foldable device remain unannounced, although TCL indicates it will cost less than Samsung foldable devices.