Ever since the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X, we’ve seen other phone makers apply for their own patents of foldable phones. OPPO is the latest among them, and its patents depict the most radical concepts so far.
OPPO filed for four patents with, oddly enough, the Japan Patent Office. And they are basically variants of the same idea. One patent shows a phone with six segments. Each segment can be folded inward like a clamshell. And the bottom block is extra chunky, holding a triple camera array facing the front. The SIM tray, charging port and speakers are on this segment as well.
The second OPPO patent shows perhaps the wildest design images. It’s another six-segment device, with the triple camera array at the back of the top segment. This makes it more like a conventional smartphone. But here, every second segment can be folded inwards as well as outwards. Fully folded, you get a Z-shaped fold instead of the typical clamshell.
The third and fourth OPPO patents depicts a device that’s similar to the second patent. The difference here is that they have eight segments instead of six. One of them also makes do without rear cameras entirely. But unlike the third patent. Another interesting variation here is that the segments of the model with the camera is depicted as folding inwards the way a clamshell does. The one with no camera folds the other way instead.
As wild as these design look, they are ultimately just patents. As is usually the case, these don’t guarantee an OPPO device you can buy in the end. And considering the challenge in making one foldable phone hinge durable, this will be seven times the nightmare.