TCL's Newest Concept Phone has a Matte Screen
TCL is showing off a concept phone at CES that it calls the NXTPAPER Phone, a phone that implements the paper-like display technology the company has put in some of its recents tablets. Unlike almost all other phones on the market today, the display surface has a matte finish, somewhat like paper, instead of the usual glossy glass. So how does it feel, how does it work, and how does it look in person? We break it down for you in this hands-on. Read on for our impressions.
Advertisements article continues below...
TCL's NXTPAPER brand has a bit of an odd history. TCL would like you to believe that they've invented some ground-breaking new display technology that blends the best of e-ink with the best of modern LCD or OLED displays. But that's not quite where they are. Yet.
Instead, NXTPAPER seems to be an initiative with that as a goal. But in order to bring something to market today, they're exploring creative ways to leverage existing technologies and materials to get as close as they can to "paper-like" for now.
For example, the first NXTPAPER tablet used a transflexive LCD panel, which is a type that can operate in bright light without any backlight at all. This saves a ton of battery life while reducing eye-strain (provided the ambient lighting is bright enough.) There was a time when some phones used these types of displays, but they had serious trade-offs and fell out of favor.
So for the same reason phones stopped using transflexive LCD displays, TCL pivoted to more traditional tablet/phone displays, and instead focused on filter and coating layers to make displays look more paper-like. Some of these are focused on reducing disruptive blue light (while carefully keeping color balanced), while other layers reduce glare and create the matte finish on top. TCL says it has added ten extra layers to create it latest paper-like effect.
The NXTPAPER Phone concept does, in fact, look pretty great. It's not some magical e-ink thing that can show bright video. But it is a phone with a decent display that happens to have good anti-glare and a silky matte finish, without sacrificing sharpness. It feels great to touch. That's great, and it looks good enough to make me wonder why no one has tried this before. I mean, computer displays have had anti-glare options for long time. Why not phones?!
I really enjoyed my time with the concept phone and could see myself buying a phone with a display like this.
I also have to say that TCL gave this particular concept phone an unusually rough matte finish on the back and sides, that I absolutely loved. It felt light, solid, and grippy. I wasn't the only journalist to gush over this detail: I hope TCL listens and brings this finish to one or more of its US phones soon.
So... will this concept become reality? I'm... not sure. TCL seems to be focused on sub-$300 phones right now, at least in the US. And I'm not sure where this technology fits into that kind of lineup. But overall and in the longer term, I do think TCL is on to something here.
Mar 23, 2021
OnePlus today announced the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, its newest flagship phones. The 9 Pro is a true flagship-class phone with a QHD AMOLED display with variable refresh from 1 to 120 Hz, and IP68 water rating, starting at $969.
Aug 12, 2020
Microsoft is finally ready to launch the unique, dual-screen Surface Duo device it first revealed almost a year ago. The Android 10 device has two 5.6-inch OLED displays, joined by a narrow 360º hinge, which can work together as one 8.1-inch display.
Sep 7, 2022
Apple has revealed the iPhone 14 series, with new features, improved specs, and new size options. In place of a Mini option, the iPhone 14 will come in the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen size options as the Pro models.
Feb 9, 2022
Samsung today announced its lineup of flagship phones for 2022: the Galaxy S22 series. The top-end S22 Ultra sees the biggest changes as it essentially absorbs Samsung's Note series with an integrated S Pen stylus and a more Note-like shape and design, instead of the Contour Cut design of the other models.
Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S phones for 2020 are somewhat predictable in appearance and features, and they've leaked like crazy, but there are a few surprises. There's no smaller, more affordable model like last year's S10e, nor is there a separate 5G model.
No messages yet