It's fair to say that, so far, folding phones have been a bit of a damp squib when it comes round to market penetration, with a mixture of broken products, delayed launches and sky-high price points leading to only a small minority wielding them.
Products like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip are making attempts to make foldable phones more accessible to people, but with mixed reviews, mid-range internal hardware and prices still at flagship smartphone levels, it's easy to see why enthusiasm for foldables is so low still.
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One look at the brand new Oppo X Nendo reveal video below, though, shows that folding phones are far from dead and that revolutionary new designs are being worked on, with this tri-hinge slide-phone showing just how compact, stylish and innovative folding phones can be.
The official Oppo video was posted (opens in new tab) by the Chinese phone maker on 13 December, 2020, and shows a slide-phone concept that has three separate hinges and is compatible with a digital stylus, much like rumors have the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 primed for.
The phone when fully closed is roughly the size of a credit card but then folds out not just once but up to three times, with each orientation geared toward certain usages.
For example, when folded just once, the small revealed display is ideal for checking the time and weather, when folded out again perfect for taking photos or videos, and when folded out to its full extent, which delivers its user a tall 7-inch screen, it can be used to take notes and browse the internet.
When at its full extend it is also show running mobile games, viewing videos and opening multiple apps side-by-side.
On the side of the phone there are a selection of buttons that change function depending on the phone's orientation. So when the phone is folded up entirely, for example, buttons allow you to play and stop music as well as mute it, while when the phone is extended out, buttons then act as things like a camera shutter button and filter changer.
There's also a small form-factor digital stylus included in the Oppo X Nendo, which is securely docked in the handset like on the Samsung Galaxy Note series phones. In addition, rear panelling on the Nendo can also change colour.
Overall, the Oppo X Nendo is a futuristic-looking folding phone which, if made real, would appeal to many smartphone users. The fact that it is so compact would really make it stand out from the crowd, while its multiple hinges and included digital stylus mean that it can be used as both a phone as well as a small tablet.
Will we see the Oppo X Nendo anytime soon? Here at T3 we think not – this folding phone concept looks like it is years away from hitting the market. That said, though, it is very enthusing to see that companies like Oppo are still experimenting with folding phone tech and designs, as we think there is a big future for them.