Microsoft patented original hinge mechanisms before, but here they are again with a fresh patent that refers to a foldable smartphone, which may just end up as a Surface Phone. It’s a Windows 10 machine for sure and it could be launched pretty soon.
We’ve seen Microsoft trying out a variety of formats, either inspired by the deceased Courier e-reader or not. This time we’re talking about 4 new patents, that show key parts of the hinge used by the Andromeda Project device, or the Surface Phone. One of the documents mentions a “Hinge with free stop function”, “Hinge mechanism” and “Hinge device with living hinge”.
A “snap open lock” is also mentioned. It’s pretty clear that we’re about to see a dual display machine being realized, something like the ZTE Axon M, but with a better hinge. Using that mechanism and its ability to rotate, you’ll turn the device into a laptop, phone or tablet with ease. 360 degree rotation is available here. The display would be able to rotate around the other screen freely at 360 degrees.
The hinge mechanism comes with at least one flexible connection, that follows an S-shaped path, when the screens are in tablet mode. Another patent focuses on the “Snap open” lock, fixed in a certain position when the mechanism reaches 180 degrees of rotation relative to the main screen. As usual I feel the need to remind you that a patent is just that, a patent and doesn’t meant it’ll become 100% real.
The problem is that I’ve seen such documents before and they all predict the same thing: a ZTE Axon M with the hinge of a Surface Book or Lenovo Yoga Book. Expect a late 2018 release with the Andromeda CShell.