A smartphone featuring an extending slide-out screen was being readied by TCL for unveiling at MWC 2020. The interesting new prototype takes flexible screens in a different direction to current trends being established by the likes of Motorola and Samsung. According to CNet's insider sources, the screen of the TCL prototype extends from traditional candy bar smartphone dimensions to tablet via a slider mechanism.
The source publication has shared plenty of images of the TCL prototype in good quality. However, the lack of any video / animation material makes it unclear how the screen extension mechanism operates. The folding open and shut of the rival flexi-screen clamshell designs causes creasing in the display, even when 'flexible glass' is used. So it will be interesting to see if TCL'[s solution doesn't suffer from similar eyeball distracting flaws.
In the rendered images the front of the phone doesn't appear to suffer from any unrolling artefacts - but that is the nature of a promotional render. On the back you can clearly see the chassis seam which extends from the TCL logo and camera section when opened up. The extending screen mechanism is likely to make this smartphone a bit chunkier than usual. Furthermore, there looks to be an uncomfortable looking ex posed edge to the top and bottom front face of the device once unfurled.
Despite MWC 2020's cancellation (it was scheduled to run from 24th to 27th February), perhaps we should expect the usual tidal wave of mobile device press releases between those dates. If I get any more material or videos from TCL next week I will embed them or link to them below. Looking at the imagery, it may be revealed next Wednesday, 26th Feb. TCL is best known in the west for its Alcatel and Blackberry brands.