Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 killer: TCL has a slider that turns into a tablet

TCL concept slider phone
(Image credit: CNET)

The foldable phone revolution is off to a shaky start, with the original Samsung Galaxy Fold falling flat and the Motorola Razr creaking its way to a 2.5-star review. The jury is still out on the promising Galaxy Z Flip, but not everyone wants or needs a flip phone.

But what if you could get the benefits of the Galaxy Fold in something that didn’t fold at all? That’s the idea behind the concept phone TCL is working on. It’s a slider phone on steroids.

According to CNET, which first reported on this concept, the TCL concept uses a continuous display. Instead of unfolding the screen to reveal a larger canvas, you pull out the display from the top or bottom of the phone, and it looks there’s a little lip for you to grab onto.

Based on these images, it looks like the screen slides out from the left and extends to the right. 

TCL was reportedly planning to reveal this design at MWC 2020 before the show was cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

TCL concept slider phone

(Image credit: CNET)

So where does the extended display go when the whole slider phone is closed? It could be that this portion bends or wraps behind the other, but we wonder how that would work and if it would introduce a crease just like a true foldable phone would. 

The back of the phone has a vertical camera bar with four lenses and a flash, but it’s not clear what the specs are at this point. The front of the phone has a cutout for what looks like dual cameras. 

TCL is no stranger to phone concept. The company revealed a TCL foldable phone at CES 2020 that opened to a 7.2-inch AMOLED display. And in October of 2019 TCL showed off a triple foldable phone.

Frankly, I like the idea of a slider that hides the extendable display while still giving you what looks like a full-size phone when it’s closed. It’s better than peering at the Z Flip’s 1-inch OLED panel on the outside or the Razr’s 2.7-inch QuickView display.

I just wonder if TCL can pull this design off and how heavy and thick the whole package would be to achieve this sort of versatility. And I also wonder how big a battery this thing could accommodate given all of the moving parts.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.