In the past year, OPPO has patented at least 2 designs for a flexible smartphone. Now, three new patents have surfaced online, revealing new designs OPPO might use for its first foldable smartphone.
In one embodiment, OPPO settles for an inward folding design for a clamshell appearance. In order to prevent the flexible display from getting damaged due to opening and closing of the device, OPPO has put airbags in both halves of the screen. When the device is unfolded, the trapped air in the bags move to the fold of the display and acts as a cushion to make it align with the rest of the screen.
For the second design which was published in February of this year, OPPO has put three screens on the device. When folded, the device appears to have two screens – one on each side. However, one of the screens is actually covering another one. This third screen is revealed when you unfold and pull out the “rear display”.
Its third patent uses a fold-out design which also leaves the screens unprotected. It is similar to one of its earlier patents, but in this case, all the cameras are in front. OPPO has filed multiple versions of this design. In one, the device uses a rotating mechanism and in another, it uses a combination of a hinge and a rotating mechanism.
When unfolded, the phone doubles its width to appear like a tablet in landscape mode. The front-facing camera, sensor, and earpiece are on the right while the rear camera and LED flash are on the left.
It is unknown when OPPO will release its first foldable smartphone but we won’t be surprised if announces one next year. It is also no surprise that it is gathering a lot of patents. This year, OPPO announced a research institute with branches across the globe and the headquarters in Shenzhen.