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OPPO's triple-fold concept phone makes the Galaxy Z Fold 2 look boring

OPPO triple-fold design
OPPO triple-fold design (Image credit: OPPO)

What you need to know

  • OPPO has teamed up with Japanese design studio nendo to release a foldable phone concept that includes a triple-fold hinge.
  • The phone folds into a compact device, and you can slide up to reveal more of the screen.
  • The design is unlikely to show up in a consumer device, but OPPO is slated to launch its first foldable phone in 2021.

Look at any of the best Android phones today and you'll find a familiar design: there's a pane of glass at the front and back that's joined by an aluminum or steel mid-frame. But in the last two years, manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei served up a look at what's next for the industry with foldable phones.

Devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 change the paradigm for smartphones, and OPPO is set to make its foray into this category next year. We're still waiting on details of what OPPO's foldable phone will look like, but the Chinese manufacturer has teamed up with Japanese design studio nendo to create a concept phone with a unique triple-fold hinge.

The device easily fits into the palm of your hand when fully closed, and sliding one fold up gives you access to a 1.5-inch screen, ideal for receiving calls, viewing incoming notifications, or pulling up the music player. Slide up to the secondary fold and you will get to a 3.15-inch screen, which OPPO says is ideal for taking photos or playing casual games.

There are four cameras located on the outer housing, and fully extended, the phone folds out to a 7-inch form factor with a narrow frame. There's even a stylus tucked away into its own housing — similar to what you'd find on the Note 20 series.

The design does look outlandish and has a distinct sci-fi feel to it, and while it portends to the future of phone design, it is unlikely we'll get a consumer device with a similar aesthetic anytime soon. That said, OPPO's first foldable phone could come with a rollable display, and the device will make its debut sometime early next year.

OPPO also showed off a wireless earbuds design that includes interlocking buds, and a charging system that sees the case for the wireless buds slotting into a wireless charging, with a portable charger acting like a cover. Again, it is unlikely we'll see a retail version of these products, but what are your thoughts on OPPO's design renders?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 combines a unique design with robust internals, leading to the best foldable phone package you'll find today.

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

4 Comments
  • That's foldable sword phone...
  • So instead of either just pulling your phone out of your pocket for a quick look or a simple unfold, there's now 3 screens with sliding hinges. A two handed operation. I love the sci-fi effect but wasn't the star trek communicator the easiest and best? Too much to go wrong and mess with when all you really want to do is make a call, email, text, update. IMHO.
  • What is actually wrong with traditional mobile phone design now that most phones are basically all screen? I like having less things that can break on a phone and love tap to wake and aod,s so you don't need to press physical buttons that can wear out over time. I understand there will be some scenarios where a phone that opens up would be useful but I think most people are happy with 'boring' traditional phones. My phone has a 6.7 inch screen and fits perfectly well in my pocket and I don't worry about fragile screens or hinges that can break or trap dirt. Hope normal phones don't die like headphone sockets and removable batteries etc.
  • first thought is simple: damn, that looks awesome. it also looks distinctly flimsy and has too many hinges that could break. good luck making that water resistant.