Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold could be in for some stiff competition if this folding smartwatch from Oppo is ever released, because who needs a folding phone when you can have a futuristic smartwatch instead?
The details of the innovative smartwatch have recently been revealed in a patent, which was granted to Oppo last year. The drawings show a slim wrist-sized single display penel, which can be increased by as much as 200%.
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Dutch blog LetsGoDigital has mocked-up a series of high-resolution images of the mysterious folding device based on the line drawings filed with the Oppo patent.
It shows how the single panel could be used for quick interactions, such as checking the time or reading notifications, as well as how the larger display could be used to watching videos, surf the internet, or replying to messages.
The patent also demonstrates multiple methods of unfurling, including a folding display method, similar to the folding smartphones we've seen, and a rollable display, which is similar to the LG Rolling OLED TV we saw at CES.
If Oppo actually manages to manufacture and release the design in this patent, it'll make the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X and Royole Flexpai look comparatively pedestrian. However, that's a pretty massive if. After all, Samsung and Huawei have both delayed their first foray into foldable smartphones due to issues with the flexible OLED panels.
However, we think the form factor of a folding smartwatch could be more useful than the large folding tablet-like designs of Samsung and Huawei.
As it stands, smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch Active, Huawei Watch GT, and Apple Watch are able to display text messages, news alerts, important emails, and more, but push users to their smartphone to read more detail, or reply using their voice, or use pre-canned responses.
If this folding Oppo smartwatch ever does make it to a wrist near you, it's likely going to be a very pricey piece of technology – expect Rolex money – because based on what we've seen so far, foldables aren't cheap!