Oppo shows off its foldable phone (but you can’t buy it)

Posted: 26 February 2019 11:09 am

Oppo's take on a foldable phone seems strangely familiar somehow.

At its "innovation event" at MWC19 in Barcelona, Oppo talked up its 10x optical zoom lens system, which it says will ship in a phone before mid-year. It also talked up its Oppo 5G phone, which will be coming to both Telstra and Optus this year in Australia.

What it didn't address was the question of foldable phones, one of the hot trends of this year's Mobile World Congress.

Samsung started the conversation by launching the rather expensive Samsung Galaxy Fold at its own Galaxy Unpacked event, and Huawei more or less shouted "hold my beer" with its own even more pricey Huawei Mate X a few days later in Barcelona.

Posting on Chinese social media site Weibo (and spotted by The Verge) Brian Shen, Oppo's vice president of Chinese sales and marketing presented images of a device that appears to bear more than a passing resemblance to the Huawei Mate X foldable.

That may be a question of where foldable technology is right now, with other firms such as TCL simply opting to show prototype designs at MWC for future foldables. Maybe right now, there's only a few ways to make flexible devices.

That being said, Shen is clear that this is just a prototype, and one that would only enter into mass production if there's clear consumer demand.

If Google Translate is to be trusted (and sometimes it isn't), then Oppo's not yet sold on the better experience anyway. A translation of his post reads "At this stage, it seems that after folding, the screen becomes larger, and it can be folded, which does not bring about a huge improvement in user experience".

For more news from MWC 2019, check out our MWC 2019 news hub.

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