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TCL admits to developing, and cancelling, a clamshell foldable that would have undercut the Galaxy Z Flip series

The TCL Chicago closes flush, unlike Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. (Image source: TCL)
The TCL Chicago closes flush, unlike Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. (Image source: TCL)
The TCL Chicago will never come to market, but the company has shown the device off anyway. The clamshell foldable closes flush, has a reasonably large cover screen and a larger battery than the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Moto Razr 5G.

TCL has teased folding smartphones for a while now, whether that be the Fold 'n Roll or its Z1 Dual-Fold Flexible Screen. Now, the company has opened up about Chicago, a clamshell smartphone that it had intended to release. As Stefan Streit, TCL's Chief Marketing Officer, explained to CNET

We could finish this product and bring it to the market, but this felt somehow … not right. For us, this category is really, really important. We will bring products. We will bring a number of products.

(Image source: CNET)
(Image source: CNET)

Nonetheless, it has provided prototype units to CNET and MrMobile, among others. As they both describe, Chicago has a 6.67-inch display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. Incidentally, TCL used a plastic display, rather than one with ultra-thin glass (UTG) as Samsung does.

Chicago also relies on a Snapdragon 765G, like the Moto Razr 5G, along with 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and a 3,545 mAh battery. According to CNET, Chicago has a 48 MP primary camera, a 16 MP ultra-wide and a 44 MP front-facing sensor. MrMobile notes that the prototype's software is so underdeveloped that most camera features would not work, though.

TCL had aimed to market Chicago for approximately US$800, much cheaper than the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3. The creation of marketing renders implies that TCL came close to releasing Chicago, reputedly setting a Q4 2021 launch date. Unfortunately, TCL will not bring a foldable smartphone to market for another 12 to 18 months.

Purchase the TCL 75-inch 6-Series 4K UHD TV on Amazon

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > TCL admits to developing, and cancelling, a clamshell foldable that would have undercut the Galaxy Z Flip series
Alex Alderson, 2021-09-11 (Update: 2021-09-11)