Lenovo might not be the biggest name in the mobile scene, smartphones or tablets, but you can’t say it isn’t willing to make some ambitious leaps. From the first commercial AR Tango phone to the Yoga Book tablet and, indirectly, to the modular Moto Z, it has been willing to play around with trends and hype, whether or not it actually continues to produce and support those products. For now, we can at least appreciate how Lenovo is this close to bringing the foldable device dream to life, showing off a working prototype at the Lenovo Tech World and making our mouths drool.
It’s not yet the realization of the foldable mobile device as we have seen in many concept videos. The device doesn’t fold inward, with the display facing in. That has pretty much been an expected compromise given how we still haven’t reached the stage where displays can be folded flat. Instead, the device folds outs, leaving the screen exposed and visible, which might actually work in its favor.
That practically means that the device will be usable, whatever form it takes. When folded, it can be used more like a conventional smartphone, though there’s nothing conventional about it. The “spine”, for example, also displays information, like Samsung’s very first Galaxy Note Edge. The “back” of the folded phone can function like a camera mirror, which can be good for selfies.
According to the video, the Lenovo foldable tablet prototype is a bit of a mix of specs, running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 from ages past. The screen resolution is 1920×1440 and the display varies from 5.5 to 7.8 inches, depending on whether it’s folded or not. It does, however, run the latest Android 7.0 version.
Of course, the biggest question is when and if Lenovo plans to actually mass produce this device. While it hardly looks ready for retail, it is, so far the closest we’ve ever been to an actually working prototype. That is, unless Samsung or Microsoft suddenly surprise everyone at IFA in a few months.