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ZTE smartphone with tri-fold display spotted in patent images

ZTE was one of the first brands to launch a foldable smartphone back in 2017. The ZTE Axon M featured two full-sized screens attached by a hinge. However, the Axon M didn’t adopt a seamless folding design as we’ve seen on the Galaxy Fold, and featured a visible hinge between the two displays instead.

Also read: TCL showcases tri-foldable and rollable concept phones

ZTE recently patented a foldable phone with a Motorola razr-like clamshell design, and we’ve now spotted a new patent by the brand on China’s CNIPA site. The patent images reveal that ZTE is working on a phone with a tri-fold display.

ZTE patents smartphone with tri-fold display

ZTE is working on a Triple-folding smartphone according to a latest patent

ZTE is working on a tri-foldable smartphone, as per its latest patent

At first glance, the ZTE foldable smartphone appears to feature the same tri-fold design as the concept smartphone showcased by TCL earlier this year. However, while TCL’s smartphone folded in a zigzag manner, ZTE seems to have gone for side-folding design where the middle part of the screen stays in place, with either side folding over it. The smartphone also appears to have a thicker chassis on the right side, which seems to be housing the main components, similar to Huawei Mate X series smartphones.

It seems like ZTE is patenting only the form factor, as nothing else has been revealed by the design, including the ports, buttons, camera placement, etc. Filing a patent doesn’t necessarily mean ZTE will launch a phone with this design, so we’ll have to wait and see what the brand’s next foldable phone will look like.

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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.