LG was one of the first brands to come up with a flexible display technology with its LG G Flex lineup of phones. While the smartphone wasn’t any close to being foldable, the display was marginally flexible to give the phone a curved look. While the G Flex series was scrapped after just two iterations, foldable phones have been the talk of the town of late, with increasing display sizes on smartphones and the need to fit them into a pocketable form factor. While we’ve heard rumors of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy X which will apparently sport a foldable design, a patent filed by LG shows that they’re not too far behind the competition either.
The patent was originally filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in late 2017 and is described as a “mobile terminal” which is a technical description of a smartphone. The patent describes a smartphone body with a display that is flexible and folds horizontally halfway down the length of the smartphone, thanks to a four-link hinge, similar to ones found on convertible laptops/tablets like the Microsoft Surface Book.
The smartphone seen in the patents sports dual mics, dual loudspeakers, and even dual antennas. The camera is placed on the exterior of the closed display. The phone is designed in a way that when the display is folded open, the screen turns on and when it’s shut, the display turns off by itself.
While it’s too early to comment on the usability aspect since the device hasn’t even reached the production stage, it’s safe to say that mobile phone manufacturers are gradually shifting towards a foldable form factor, which is probably good to see since smartphones have looked the same since as long as their origin, and there needs to be a design refresh sooner than later. It looks like future is all about foldable smartphones with huge displays in your pocket.