TCL’s tri-fold prototype phone folds in thirds like an accordion

Unfortunately, it doesn't have a name, timeline or a working screen.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Now that we have phones that fold in half, companies are starting to imagine phones that fold in thirds. In January, Xiaomi teased a concept phone that folds on both sides. This week, CNET got its hands on another concept by TCL. This one starts as a ten-inch tablet and has dual hinges that fold in opposite directions like an accordion.

As CNET points out, it ends up looking something like a Z or a taco holder. You can also fold all of the screens together so you have a form factor that looks more like the phones we're used to, only it's a thick stack of screens.

While it's great to see companies experimenting with new form factors, don't expect this phone to be available any time soon. It doesn't have a name, projected release date or even a working screen. If and when those things fall into place, the tri-fold phone will face challenges that bi-fold phones have run into, mainly how to protect the display as the device folds repeatedly.

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