First images of Vivo’s rumored foldable phone leaked

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Image credit: iQOO

Images claiming to show the first folding handset from Chinese phone-maker Vivo have appeared online. It appears the device won’t carry Vivo’s branding, however, with the company set to market the device under a new sub-brand called iQOO.

The images, posted on Chinese social media sites Weibo and MyDrivers, show the foldable device from a few angles, as well as promotional material created to accompany it. The images are only renders, though, and since the phone is likely a long way out, they may bear only a passing resemblance to the finished product.

From the images we can see the iQOO foldable phone looks to be a rather tall smartphone that would fold out vertically into a larger tablet configuration. When in smartphone orientation the device would have a slightly different interface to the tablet, with weather info only shown on the phone, for example, and the notification bar stretched across both screens in tablet mode.

Two bars in the top-left corner of the screen suggest the phone will support dual-SIM; however since both bars only show 4G it remains to be seen if the device will support 5G.

While images of the device were initially only circulated on Chinese social media sites, and Vivo is a Chinese company, the phone’s location in the images is New York, which suggests it won’t necessarily be exclusive to the region upon release. 

These images aren’t confirmation of the device however – according to the leaker, they were taken from a presentation pitching the phone to potential investment partners.

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(Image: © 女王议科技)

 Image credit:  女王议科技  

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(Image: © 女王议科技)

 Image credit:  女王议科技  

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(Image: © 女王议科技)

Image credit:  女王议科技 

The leaker also suggested the price would be more than CNY7,000, which converts to roughly $1,000, £800, or AU$1,450 – those prices could end up being very different, but if they’re in the ballpark they would make the phone fairly affordable given how much foldable phones will potentially cost, although it’s still around the price of a current high-end handset. 

For comparison, analysts expect the Samsung Galaxy X will launch for between $1,850 and $1,930 (£1,375 and £1,500, AU$2,400 and AU$3,550).

Foldable devices are quickly becoming the next big thing in smartphone world, with devices like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy X, the device Huawei has promised to launch at MWC 2019, and LG’s future handset all vying to become the first mainstream consumer foldable device.