Could this be our first look at LG’s foldable phone?

There's more proof today that LG is poised to launch foldable phone, just a few months after company execs told us at last year's MWC that they could release a foldable phone in the next two years. Time certainly moves fast in tech.

We're now seeing patents that hint at the beginnings of LG's flexible future, and there are two different flexible phone designs to pour over thanks to diagrams published on January 12 with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

LG’s patent shows off a fold-out phone with one seamless display that spans across the two sections. It's unlike the foldable ZTE Axon M, which utilizes two independent screens that join together with a slight gap. 

Everything we're seeing so far makes LG's on-paper concept quite the looker in terms of its minimal bezels and a consistent tablet-like display. You still have to wonder if the inevitable crease in the display will be distracting.

Based on the patents, it’s tough to tell exactly how the models differ, if at all, on their insides. But as GSMinfo points out, their outer shells take two different paths.

Something to look forward to in 2018?

One version of what could be LG’s rumored flexible phone shows the camera facing the rear, with a similar circular design on the front that might act as a front facing camera or a small screen that can show off notifications. Additionally, this patent shows the time on the front, though it’s hard to tell if it will be a full-functioning display or just a small spot designated for telling the time.

Credit: LG

The other version is far more interesting, looking to possibly feature a casing that rolls back to show off a vertical take on the second display introduced in the LG V10. Here, we might expect to have access to music controls and other light-touch interactions, like weather and checking out text messages.

It’s possible that we’ll see this foldable phone from LG popping up this year, but how early? MWC 2018 is coming soon, and frankly, that seems a little too soon to expect such a true, ambitious-looking take on the flexible phone. 

We’re more likely to see the LG G7, or whatever the company has next in its flagship, before it lands.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.