The folding phablet
The NEC NTT DoCoM Medias W is a dual-screen smartphone with a difference -- and it could herald the start of yet another new smartphone trend.
As bigger and bigger screens continue to be the prevailing trend for smartphone design, NEC has come up with a novel way of doubling the display size without doubling the size of the handset. The NEC Medias W is a side-hinged dual-screen smartphone with two 4.3-inch 540x960 pixel displays that can work independently of each other or, when opened out side-by-side, work together as one dedicated screen.
Powered by a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, the device runs Android 4.1 and has 16GB of in-built storage plus a microSD port for further expansion. The handset, which was first demonstrated at the 2012 Mobile World Congress is about to make its official debut in Japan on the NTT DoCoM network as part of the company's 2013 spring lineup, which launches on Friday, though the phone is not expected to be officially available until April. As of yet there is no word of the device coming to other world markets.
At this year's International Consumer Electronics Show, another dual-screen phone, the YotaPhone, which pairs a full-colour display on one side of the handset with a monochrome electric ink display on the rear, won the award for best mobile device.
Likewise, popSLATE has been gaining a large amount of media coverage for its ‘smart' iPhone 5 cover, due to launch in June. Rather than simply protecting the handset, the cover also adds a rear-facing ‘always-on' 4-inch electric ink screen that can be used to display images and app alerts.