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TCL has today unveiled two new concept products — a tablet with a tri-folding screen and a phone with an extendable rolling screen.

TCL, if you’re not familiar, is a Chinese company best known for its cut-price TVs. It also makes phones for BlackBerry and Alcatel. However, TCL, as we saw at CES earlier this year, is making a push to release phones under its own brand name. These two concept products, while unlikely to reach production, do give us a great look at TCL’s ambitions and plans for the future.

So, is this tech likely to end up in regular products? How do they work? And why should you care about stuff that no one can even buy at this stage?

TCL Rollable Phone

Let’s start with the rollable phone concept. It doesn’t have a proper name and TCL is clear to point out that “no pricing or availability details… are being announced at this time.”

Details may be scant, but from initial impressions, this is a seriously cool piece of tech. We’ve seen rollable displays before on TVs, but we’ve never seen the idea applied to something that can fit in your pocket.

The phone uses “internal motorols” to turn the already quite large 6.75-inch display into a 7.8-inch one. However, this adds a bit of bulk to the phone’s design. TCL claims that the phone will be “just 9mm thin” – that’s more than 1mm thicker than the Samsung S10 Plus, and almost 2mm thicker than an unfolded Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. However, the TCL phone is significantly thinner than a folded Galaxy Z Flip — the Samsung phone comes in at 17.3mm thick when closed.

There’s no word on how much weight the motors will add to the phone, but we’d assume it would be a fair bit heavier than average. When we looked at the Oppo Reno 2, for example, we found its extra bulk to be a bit of a gripe. But there, the internal motors only had to power a small selfie camera — not the entire phone screen.

TCL pointedly remarks that “the device has no wrinkles or creases, which are commonly found with foldable AMOLEDs.” As the display rotates around a wider axis than its folding counterparts, the stresses on the display are not as severe, meaning that there shouldn’t be any creases or bumps.

TCL Tri-Folding Tablet

Again, the TCL’s concept tablet doesn’t have a proper name. And, as far as we can see, it only folds twice, not thrice.

Anyway, TCL thinks that tablets have been unfairly shunned in the race to build folding phones. As such, it’s seen fit to create a 10-inch tablet that folds into a 6.65-inch device. This small sub 7-inch device has a 20.8:9 aspect ratio — making it almost as tall as the latest Sony phones, for example. It’ll also have a 3K resolution, so it should be pretty sharp to boot.

TCL claims that its proprietary tech will ensure that there will be “a minimal gap” between the folding sides of the tablet-phone…hybrid…thing. Of course, one wonders why the company would go to all the trouble of making a bi-folding tablet only to throw serious shade at folding screens with a new rollable phone like the one above…

Naturally, there are no pricing or availability details for the tri-folding tablet.

Why Should You Care About Products You Can’t Buy?

Concept products can seem pointless, but they’re a great way to get a peek at the tech that will be coming our way in the next few years. Not all concept phones will make it to production, sure. Many might be serious pie-in-the-sky projects designed to drum-up some media interest (yup, we’re guilty for covering them).

Companies also use concept products to gauge interest for new design ideas. With TCL’s new products, especially the rollable phone, it’s great to see an insurgent phone company trying to do something different.

TCL isn’t the first company to reveal a concept phone, of course. OnePlus recently showed-off its Concept One, with a frosted rear camera. It wasn’t as ambitious as TCL’s efforts, but it’s clear that concept phones aren’t going away.

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Tcl Nxtpaper Phone Concept Hands

TCL Nxtpaper Phone Concept: What is it?

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The standout feature of the TCL Nxtpaper Phone Concept is its display. TCL brought the Nxtpaper display from its line of tablets to the Nxtpaper Phone.

For those unfamiliar with Nxtpaper tablets, they are tablets with matte displays which give them a paper-like feel, similar to an Amazon Kindle. TCL’s first Nxtpaper tablet had no backlight, making it only truly useful in well-lit scenarios. The second generation had a backlight, giving it more usability. At CES this year, the company launched two Nxtpaper tablets: an Android model and a Windows-on-Arm model. These new tablets have brighter, crisper displays than previous generations.

A matte display? Why not?

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

During my hands-on time with the TCL Nxtpaper Phone Concept, I immediately fell in love with the matte display. It was soft to the touch and looked great under all lighting conditions.

Most of all, though, it was simply different. Think about it: When was the last time you used a phone that didn’t have a thick piece of shiny glass over the display?

The Nxtpaper display doesn’t catch fingerprints or smudges and doesn’t reflect ceiling lights.

The matte covering didn’t affect usage as far as I could tell. Tapping and swiping around the Android operating system was the same experience as with pretty much every other phone I’ve used in the past five years.

Unfortunately, using the phone wasn’t a flawless experience, so TCL would still need to iron out a few kinks.

There are a few hurdles TCL needs to overcome

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The biggest problem TCL faces with the Nxtpaper Phone is brightness. Above, you can see how much brighter the Pixel 6 gets when compared to the Nxtpaper Phone. And remember that the Pixel 6 has a very low maximum brightness — the Pixel 7 gets almost 25% as bright. During everyday usage, this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but if you brought the Nxtpaper Phone out on a very sunny day, you would miss the crisp and clear OLED of something like the Pixel 6, to say nothing about the Pixel 7.

I would buy this, if…

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The TCL Nxtpaper Phone Concept is like someone combined a Kindle with a OnePlus One and then gave it the color scheme of the Google Pixel 5. This is a mash-up I never knew I needed until I had it in my hand.

Holding this concept phone actually got me excited, which is something that doesn’t happen often. It felt great in my hand, it had an innovative feature that made it truly unique when compared to other phones, and that feature actually made the phone better overall, instead of just being different for the sake of being different.

Is the TCL Nxtpaper Phone concept hot or not?

226 votes

If TCL could improve the Nxtpaper Phone’s brightness, give it some beefier durability, and lift its specs sheet out from the budget sector, I would buy this in a heartbeat. I feel like a lot of Android fans would feel the same way if they tried it out.

If nothing else, I hope TCL releases this commercially just to inject some creativity into the market. With LG gone, someone needs to take the big risks that Samsung and Apple are averse to.

Daily Authority: Samsung Rollable 🗞️

A detailed patent document was unearthed by LetsGoDigital, which includes 32 pages of info from a German filing.

We’ve already seen trademark filings for Samsung with the Galaxy “Z Roll” and “Z Slide” being secured.

Now we have a bunch of info, including helpful renders that provide an impression of Samsung’s tech.

The details:

Llike the Oppo X 2023, and LG’s cancelled rollable, Samsung’s patent imagines a rollable phone with a display that extends outwards. Once extended, the display becomes 40-50% larger, and the UI adapts automatically. 

Huawei is also working on a rollable, using magnets to prevent creases showing in the rolled-out phone.

Samsung’s avoiding creases by using “multiple flexible/elastic carrier films,” together with a clever mechanical hinge structure to support the folded-out display, along with a supportive flat plate.

There’s also talk of an under-display camera with the model.

The robust documentation appears to suggest Samsung has developed the technology here, not just patents of ideas. But there’s still, usually, a long way to go between prototyping, production, and a commercial release.

According to our own Dhruv Bhutani, even rollable prototypes seem to make more sense than foldables, when he wrote: 

“Having tried out almost all the foldable smartphones on the market, I can safely say that the Oppo X 2023 gets the closest to combining a smartphone and tablet experience in a singular device, and that’s largely due to how usable the phone is.”

That said, people who own foldables do seem to love them. Stockholm Syndrome when paying big money, or actual utility?

Glad you asked! There’s a great piece at Gizmodo that cautiously enthuses about the Fold 2, with the one (fairly significant) downside being dust bubbles with the screen protector.

Will that be fixed with the Fold 3?


⌚ Samsung just announced a new Exynos wearables chipset, coming to the Galaxy Watch 4 to be announced tomorrow, is a pretty big leap for Wear OS smartwatches: from 26nm to 5nm, better power efficiency, 20% faster CPU, and 10x more graphics (Android Authority).

🔐 Google’s VPN service for higher-tier Google One subscribers is now available outside the US, adding Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the UK to the list if you pay $9.99 or so a month (Android Authority).

💵 We asked, you told us: Here’s what you’d pay for the Pixel 6 Pro (Android Authority).

🔜 Asus ROG Phone 5S tipped for launch: adds the Snapdragon 888 Plus (Android Authority).

🎧 Beats Studio Buds review: Apple’s Android olive branch (Android Authority).

🍎 Apple released an FAQ and had a call with reporters, saying it will refuse government demands to expand photo-scanning beyond CSAM (Ars Technica). But the hits keep coming: Stratechery has a post called “Apple’s Mistake” which neatly questions why Apple didn’t stick with cloud storage scanning, and went on-device, saying: “It’s truly disappointing that Apple got so hung up on its particular vision of privacy that it ended up betraying the fulcrum of user control: being able to trust that your device is truly yours.”

🔑 Google’s new Titan security key lineup won’t make you choose between USB-C and NFC, only USB-A vs USB-C. $30/35, on sale today (The Verge).

🎮 Gamescom 2023 gets officially underway on August 25th, and Microsoft has announced an event on August 24 (Engadget).

🔋 A new Lamborghini Countach is coming, and for the 50th anniversary, the famous Lambo might add a battery (The Verge).

💪 The squishy, far-out new experiments headed to the ISS (Wired).

🛰️ SpaceX is buying an Internet of Things smallsat company (Engadget).

Chart Tuesday

Here’s how the marathon world record has changed over the years, as competitors keep trying to get past the two-hour barrier (in legal conditions, i.e. not including the successful sub-two hour experiment staged by a British multinational chemical company — though more power to Eliud Kipchoge for getting that cash!):

Kipchoge’s incredible record is 2:01:39.

Most of the narrowing of the record time has been Kipchoge’s efforts, who lives a life of running in a small community in Kenya.

In the New York Times there’s this remarkable quote: “A millionaire, Kipchoge is known to live an ascetic lifestyle while training with his running group at altitude in Kenya: living apart from his family, chopping vegetables for communal meals, cleaning toilets, hand-washing his gear, and drawing water from a well.”

But “while training” doesn’t really cut it – Kipchoge seems to always be training.

Performance coach and author Steve Magness wrote on Twitter: “Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest of all time… in ANY sport. His domination in a major sport in the modern era is unprecedented.”

Amazing! Have an inspired Tuesday,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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Watch Samsung’S Rollable Display In Action

Watch Samsung’s rollable display in action

Samsung knows how to make an eye-catching concept device, and the company’s rollable display prototype doesn’t disappoint. Shown off for the first time at SID 2023 in San Francisco this week, the 5.7-inch screen takes Samsung Display’s OLED technology and furls it up into a very pocket-friendly form factor.

Opened out, it’s a 5.7-inch screen running at 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, for a total pixel density of 386 ppi. It’s just as bright and the colors just as vivid as we’ve come to expect from the company’s displays on production devices like the Galaxy S7 edge, too.

However its party trick is how small it gets. The screen rolls up into a small metal stick, roughly the diameter of an old canister of 35mm film, but longer.

Samsung can do that because the panel is just 0.3 mm thick, and weighs 5g. It has a rolling radius of 10R, which basically means that it could be rolled into a tube with a 10mm radius.

There are a few caveats, unsurprisingly, before you get too excited. That 0.3 mm thickness is before you add in a touch layer: that’s going to impact not only the heft of the panel itself, but how flexible it is overall.

Meanwhile you’d also need to figure out a place to put the battery in a commercial device – this concept was externally powered – and you’d presumably want some sort of protective layer on the OLED since otherwise it could be damaged fairly easily.

What Samsung Display isn’t saying is just how many roll-ups and unrollings the OLED could handle before it might be expected to crack or otherwise break. When asked, a representative said “that’s a good question” and declined to give specifics.

It’s not the only flexible panel Samsung Display has at the show. Less dramatic, arguably, but just as technically impressive is a 5.7-inch flexible screen running at 2560 x 1440 resolution and 420 nits of brightness.

It too is 0.3 mm thick, and comes in with a pixel density of 551 ppi.

Samsung’s use for such a panel is a little easier to envisage, too: think along the lines of the Galaxy S7 edge, but even more curvaceous. Alternatively, you could wrap it around components in a car dashboard, or onto other form-factors.

Though concept mock-ups and prototypes aren’t, obviously, an indicator of a final, commercial product, Samsung Display does have some prior form when it comes to previewing devices that later slot into the company’s smartphone line-up.

All the way back in January 2013, for instance, Samsung was discretely showing off a prototype with a display that curved around the casing; that went on to spawn the Galaxy Note Edge in late 2014.

With this new, rollable display, we may have even less of a delay. Samsung is rumored to be readying a rollable smartphone – believed to be the Samsung Galaxy X – as one of its 2023 flagship Android phones.

University Unveils New Crowdfunding Platform

University Unveils New Crowdfunding Platform Learn about guidelines for raising money at workshop tomorrow

BU’s new crowdfunding platform helped the BU Dance Team raise more than $18,000 for this year’s National Dance Alliance Collegiate Dance Championship, and more than $19,700 for the same competition last year. Photo courtesy of the BU Dance Team

This weekend, the BU Dance Team traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the National Dance Alliance Collegiate Dance Championship. Flights, competition fees, and choreography were largely covered, thanks to more than $18,000 the team raised on BU’s new crowdfunding platform.

“The hardest thing for us is that on top of school, we practice all the time and we perform at the men’s and women’s basketball games, so it’s hard to find time to fund-raise,” says coach and former member Kaitlyn Busconi (Questrom’09), whose team won the Division I team performance. “The best thing about crowdfunding is that it’s easy to fit in with other commitments, because a lot of it is sending emails and pushing out our fundraising page on social media.”

The University has instituted a new policy and website to help academic departments, student groups, and other members of the BU community raise money for research, service trips, projects, events, and other BU-specific ventures. The platform is not meant for students who seek to raise tuition dollars or money for nonacademic travel; student clubs, organizations, and the Athletics teams and groups are not required to use the platform.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13, faculty and students are invited to a workshop that will provide an overview of the new policy and information about how to launch a campaign.

Nicole Hawkes, associate provost for strategic initiatives, says that the growing popularity of programs like third-party crowdfunding websites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe suggested that there was an opportunity for the University to set up its own crowdfunding platform to help individual students, student groups, and faculty raise funds for their projects and ideas.

Unlike those fundraising giants—which raised an estimated $34 billion last year alone, according to—BU’s new platform delivers the money to the fundraisers whether or not they reach their goal. And unlike those other platforms, BU’s doesn’t charge fees for projects looking to raise less than $50,000 (indirect costs will be charged on research above that amount, and donors’ gifts are tax-deductible). Other benefits, Hawkes says, include the ability to tap into BU’s 300,000-plus alumni network for donations, as well as to use the University for technical, administration, communication, and marketing support.

“Crowdfunding takes a tremendous amount of effort; it’s not just putting your project out on the platform and leaving it alone for six weeks,” says Hawkes, whose team has been working on the new policy for about a year and a half. “A successful campaign really relies on having a good network in place. We want to help the BU community navigate these ins and outs and raise as much money as possible for their projects.”

A few groups volunteered as guinea pigs for the new crowdfunding site. As well as the $18,000 raised for this year’s National Dance Alliance Collegiate Dance Championship, the Dance Team raised more than $19,700 for the same competition last year. The FIRST Robotics team raised $5,433 for the FIRST Robotics competition, while Cara Stepp, a Sargent College assistant professor of speech, language, and hearing sciences, raised $9,010 to fund an open-source video game designed to help children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate learn to speak more clearly.

Researchers especially stand to benefit from crowdfunding, says Gloria Waters, vice president and associate provost for research, who notes that crowdfunding is already being used by faculty and students at many universities to raise money for things like gap funding.

“Crowdfunding could be used to obtain pilot funding for a project that might then allow the faculty member or student to apply for larger sums from more traditional sources,” Waters says. “Alternatively, for students, they may be able to raise all the funds needed to carry out a project for a course or a thesis in this way.”

A growing number of schools, such as the University of Virginia, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Cornell, have launched crowdfunding platforms similar to BU’s.

In a nutshell, here’s how the BU platform works: once a group’s or individual’s application has been chosen to be featured on the BU website, the group or individual is paired with a mentor from Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) to develop project descriptions, email blasts, and marketing materials. Campaigns will typically run 10 to 12 weeks—the first 4 weeks for preparing the campaign and thinking about strategy and the rest for reaching out to contacts and pushing the campaign to potential donors.

DAR new media producer Caitlin Cushman, who worked on the crowdfunding launch team, points to the Dance Team as a good example of a successful crowdfunder. This year, the members snail-mailed letters to family and friends asking for donations for their nationals trip and at the same time were pushing out the campaign to the broader public on social media channels.

Cushman says another benefit of crowdfunding is that it gives students, faculty, and alumni a way to connect. “It’s an opportunity for donors to find something that speaks to them when they’re making a gift,” she says. “Instead of donating to a general fund, they can choose one project and see where their money is going.”

The Crowdfunding at BU workshop will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13, at 4 p.m. at the Questrom School of Business, Room 426-428, Rafik B. Hariri Building, 595 Commonwealth Ave. The event is open to faculty, staff, and students; register here.

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Mophie Unveils New Powerstation Xl With Usb

Mophie has unveiled its latest charging accessory today, dubbed the Powerstation Wireless XL. This portable charger packs a 10,000mAh battery, USB-C and Lightning support, and an integrated Qi charging surface.

The new Powerstation XL offers up to 18W output when using the USB-C PD port. You can also charge two devices at the same time using both the USB-C port and wireless charging. In total, Mophie says the Powerstation XL can give your iPhone up to 55 hours of extra juice.

The Qi charging surface can be used to power an iPhone or any other Qi-enabeld device, such as AirPods or AirPods Pro. The Powerstation XL itself can also be recharged wirelessly by placing it on a separate Qi charger.

There’s also Lightning input on the Powerstation XL, so users can recharge the Powerstation with the same cable they use for their Phone. There’s also USB-C input, giving you a rather versatile selection of charging options.

The new Powerstation XL is available now from Apple’s Online Store as well as Mophie’s website. The accessory will also be sold in Apple Stores around the world for $99.95. If that price point seems a bit steep, 9to5Toys recently went hands-on with an alternative from Anker with similar features at less than half the price.

Check out the full press release for the new Powerstation XL below:

mophie debuts new powerstation wireless XL

universal battery features Qi® wireless input and output; conveniently charges Qi-enabled Apple devices on contact

Orange County, Calif., (May 14, 2023) – mophie, a ZAGG Brands (NASDAQ:ZAGG) company and the No. 1 external battery brand in the U.S., today announced the powerstation® wireless XL, available now. Featuring built-in Qi universal wireless input and output, a fast charge USB-C® input and output port, and a Lightning® input, the powerstation wireless XL is designed to conveniently and quickly charge iPhone® and other Apple devices on-the-go.

“Rounding out our new powerstation line, the powerstation wireless XL delivers the convenience of wireless charging and fast USB-C charging in one device to meet the portable power needs of Apple customers,” said Charlie Quong, vice president of product, power at ZAGG Brands. “With a high-gloss top surface and metallic perimeter, the powerstation wireless XL is both stylish and functional.”

The mophie powerstation wireless XL provides the iPhone with up to 55 hours of extra use as it contains a 10,000mAh battery. Featuring built-in wireless input and output, users can charge any Qi-enabled Apple device on contact, as well as re-charge the powerstation wireless XL through any Qi-compatible wireless charging pad. With a fast-charge USB-C PD port that delivers up to 18W output, iPhone users can get up to a 50% battery charge in just 30 minutes. Using both the USB-C port and wireless charging surface, two devices may be charged simultaneously for portable power whenever it’s needed most.

The powerstation wireless XL features a Lightning input, giving users the ability to quickly recharge the powerstation battery using the same cable that charges their Apple devices. Furthermore, the powerstation wireless XL can be recharged through the USB-C port. Additional features of every mophie powerstation include:

Priority+® Charging – sends power to your device first then recharges the powerstation.

Integrated LED power indicator – four lights display the charging status and current battery life.

Triple-test certified lithium-polymer batteries – Every battery product is tested at three different stages of production to ensure unmatched output, efficiency and build quality, along with reliable, long-lasting performance.

The powerstation wireless XL completes the mophie lineup of universal power solutions designed to charge all Apple devices, from iPhone to MacBook®. The powerstation, powerstation plus, and powerstation plus XL charge iPhone at the fastest speed possible, while the powerstation pro and powerstation pro XL offer high-speed USB-C output for charging MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone.

Pricing & Availability:

The new mophie powerstation wireless XL is available now from chúng tôi chúng tôi and will be available in Apple stores worldwide for a suggested retail price of $99.95.

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