OPPO patents a clamshell foldable phone with the screen on the outside
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is one of only two foldable clamshell phones on the market. It has won some approval due to this groundbreaking form-factor, which allows for improved portability and pocketability (especially as one's wallet would feel much less substantial on buying it). Therefore, more OEMs may want to copy this formula in the future. There is evidence that OPPO may be one of them - but with a twist.
This company has recently registered a new design with the Chinese intellectual property office (CNIPA) for just such a clamshell foldable. However, this device exposes its display to the elements at all times, whereas it is protected by an outer shell while closed in the Samsung device's case.
Therefore, the potential OPPO alternative may be all screen when unfolded, except for an extension of its frame found at the top of this device. It houses a Hall sensor for the magnets on either half of this device, thus detecting the angle at which the phone is unfolded when open.
This feature may have UI-related use-cases. Then again, it is hard to see the point of an outward-folding clamshell, besides being more portable. As OPPO received CNIPA's approval for this patent in January 2020, it is possible that it may expound its reasoning further with a prototype (at least) based on this new design.