OnePlus is experimenting with a new and unique foldable form factor as shown by a new design patent. This patent was originally filed in 2020 but was only published earlier this year in June.

The patent is captioned Mobile Terminal and is now included in the World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) database. It was only published after it received an approval of protection from the WIPO office.

OnePlus Patent Shows a Tri-Folding Phone With a Sliding Key

The patent describes a tri-folding phone with three separate screens that can close together to form a sandwich of a phone, similar to TCL’s tri-folding concept. Since the device has two hinges to enable this form factor, it can be folded into different orientations for different uses.

It can be used as a large tablet when it’s fully opened, but also as a regular smartphone if it’s closed. However, the innovative design will come with a few challenges as it’s not easy to maintain durability with so many moving parts and a foldable screen.

The actual device will most likely look a bit different from the patent, but that is only if it becomes reality. That being said, it is quite common for companies to publish patents without finalizing them into a retail device, so we recommend taking this information with a pinch of salt.