Friday, June 21, 2024
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A smartphone company you haven’t heard of has big plans for 2024


The folded Tecno Phantom V Fold and Tecno Phantom V Flip.
The Tecno Phantom V Flip (left) and Tecno Phantom V Fold Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Tecno, a brand that mostly makes waves in the East while living under the budget shadows, is once again ready to make an innovation splash. At Mobile World Congress 2024, the company has lined up some rather promising announcements, and among them is a fresh take on the idea of rollable screen phones.

So far, Samsung has only shown working rollable screen concepts, while Motorola and Oppo’s respective phones with a rollable screen never made it past the demo stage. Tecno wants to give it a try as well, and will be unveiling the Phantom Ultimate smartphone featuring rollable screen technology later this month.

It’s still going to be a “concept phone” that will employ an “innovative double-sided screen.” The screen goes from 6.5 inches to 7.1 inches when the rollable screen mechanism kicks into action. We don’t know what exactly it is going to look like, but the dimensions suggest that it will go from a portrait-first phone orientation to a tablet mode, somewhat like the Oppo X 2021 concept.

A close up of the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro's camera.
Tecno recently sold a phone with a motorized pop-out camera. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On a similar note, Tecno is also going to showcase its take on a foldable phone screen that is borderless. So far, we have seen brands ditching the traditional bezels and replacing them with solid raised lips. It would be interesting to see what the brand has been cooking up in its labs and whether such a shift is merely aesthetical or if it holds any practical value as well.

Talking about aesthetics, Tecno is going to showcase some environment-friendly materials that go into designing phone shells. Among the ideas that will be on the MWC 2024 show floor are “organosilicon fabric leather, layered fiberglass, 3D stereo optical grating, colored textured glass.” A few months ago, the company launched its Camon 19 Pro smartphone, which features color-changing blocks that alter their appearance when exposed to light.

Tecno says it will also share more details about the work it has done with skin color mapping for smartphone cameras courtesy of its Universal Tone efforts. It aims to pull off the same algorithmic trick that Google did by baking the Real Tone tech at the heart of Pixel smartphones. The company also has some mobile video imaging advancements in its bag of announcements for the upcoming event.

On the more ambitious side of things, Tecno has also created a robotic dog called Dynamic 1 that is inspired by the German Shepherd breed and wants to be your intelligent pet pal. This robotic canine companion relies on AI to assist with “intuitively understanding commands and performing lifelike actions.”

The Tecno Phantom V Flip, with other folding phones.
Tecno also made one of the world’s most affordable foldable phones. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

And finally, we have the Tecno Pocket Go, touted to be “the industry’s first Windows AR gaming” kit. It essentially combines the visual versatility of AR glasses with the dexterity of a handheld console and is aimed at pushing AR gaming into the mainstream. Apple’s Vision Pro headset is finally out, and it seems Tecno aims to showcase what it has built on its own while latching on to the newfound AR wave in the consumer electronics segment.

Dspite its relative underdog status, Tecno isn’t really a copycat — quite the contrary. The company recently launched a phone with physically retracting camera lens hardware. It was a pop-out camera tech unlike any that I’ve ever seen before.

Last year, it launched one of the world’s most affordable foldable phones called the Phantom V Fold. And to stand out in a sea of clamshell-style foldable phones, the company introduced the Phantom V Flip and armed it with a one-of-a-kind circular secondary display. The company recently announced a unique take on camera system tech by integrating liquid lens tech in a periscope module, and it also revealed a unique lens aperture module to enhance image quality.

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