OPPO is currently working on a foldable phone with a flexible display and a hinge that can be fixed at four points. Here’s what we know.
Oppo Reno Flip – Here’s what we know
Back in 2019, Oppo showed of a prototype for a foldable smartphone. The project was later scrapped after OPPO’s CEO at the time said that the device would offer to little in value.
Oppo has since filed numerous other patents, such as the LiFi-enabled smartphone – said to be 100 times faster than WiFi – and a foldable phone with a flexible, exterior screen.
Let’s Go Digital also reported on an Oppo foldable phone that unfolds into a tablet and features a pop-up camera. Oppo’s latest patent details a smartphone with a flexible display that folds inwards.
Oppo Reno Flip patent
The patent was filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) back in February 2020, and mentions a ‘Foldable terminal’. The 41-page patent, which was approved on 3 September 2020, can be viewed here.
The document also explains that a “rotating hinge with gears” will feature a pair of cover plates and a support plate which allows the housing “to slide out relative to the copper plates”.
According to Let’s Go Digital, the hinge is “slightly wider than the phone itself”.
Hinge with 4 fixed positions
A good hinge will be flexible enough to survive the many times a foldable phone is opened and closed. Moreover, the hinge needs to work quietly in the background; no one wants to hear creaking noises when opening and closing a phone.
A hinge will also prevent dust and debris from breaking the folding mechanism, which in turn can adversely the effect the phone’s useability. Let’s Go Digital sums it up:
“In short, a properly functioning hinge is not that easy to develop, but it is very important. It is therefore not surprising that smartphone manufacturers make this an important focal point”.
Let’s Go Digital also created 3D renders based on the patent descriptions to visualize what Oppo’s upcoming device might look like. These images are republished on TheSouthAfrican.com with explicit permission.
Oppo in South Africa
Oppo officially entered the South African market back in September. The Chinese manufacturer launched three affordable smartphones. The A72, the A53, and the A15s. The devices will be available through Vodacom.
The A72 will be the first to launch in South Africa, with a date set for 7 October 2020; while the A53 and A15s will launch on 7 November 2020.