Some of the latest trends seen among flagship smartphone models have been greatly-reduced bezels, dual-camera setups, rugged protection, and more. Apple’s iPhone X is an example of a bold new redesign that has successfully captured the interest of consumers. Other manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi have outed handsets that feature very little-to-no-bezels like the Galaxy S8 and Mi Mix 2 respectively. Zte aims to jumpstart another trend with its recently revealed Axon M smartphone. The phone fits the definition of a device with a folding display, albeit of a different kind than what is expected.

ZTE Axon M debuts with folding display

Major brands like Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo have all hinted about their plans for a smartphone that features folding display. The latter even showcased a concept unit called the CPlus, which can wrap around the user’s wrist. Surprisingly ZTE unveiled the Axon M, which fits the definition of a device with a folding display, but achieves this via two screens that combine into one larger display. “We’re right at the corner of the foldable display era”, according to Linda Sui, an expert from Strategy Analytics, who also mentioned, “This is a new direction,” when she described the new smartphone from ZTE.

Partnership with the US and Japan

Currently, the Axon M will be made available in the United States via AT&T, which is the exclusive partner of the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, Japanese distribution will be handled by NTT Docomo, who reportedly requested the company to develop the device. Despite its questionable design, ZTE global vice president, Jeff Yee, insisted that they “are committed to it.” In fact, their engineers are supposedly working on the next generation model as we speak, according to him.

Not exactly the first on the block

For those who can recall, Sprint offered a similar-looking device back in 2011 called the Kyocera Echo. It featured a somewhat similar flip-out folding display design like the ZTE Axon M. Sadly, the former device did not really do well in the market after it became available.

However, the company flaunts the phone’s ability to make multitasking more manageable. Instead of having multiple windows on a single screen, the user can open two different apps side-by-side. The Axon M’s dual-displays are both protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5. Samsung has shared its plans to release a Galaxy Note model with a foldable touchscreen. Likewise, Apple has confirmed that it will no longer source its OLED components from the South Korean electronics giant. The Cupertino tech company also plans to develop a new iPhone with a folding touchscreen but declined to specify any more details.

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