Back in February at the 2019 Mobile World Congress, we saw the launch of a new form factor for smartphones: several manufacturers showed phones with folding displays, including Samsung with the Galaxy Fold and Huawei with the Mate X.

OPPO's foldable prototype got less media coverage but the company had already filed for a foldable-phone-patent with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) back in October 2018. Now the patent has been published, including several design sketches and full color renders.

The new design's stand-out feature is the pop-up camera that allows for reduced bezel sizes and means that pictures and videos can be recorded in both in the phone's folded and unfolded states. Additionally, the camera hardware could be used for selfie-shooting although camera control and image processing would likely have to be modified for front camera use.

As this is a design patent no specs are available but, like with the MWC prototype, the screen folds outwards and there's also a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Samsung's foldable phone has been delayed indefinitely due to technical issues and the Mate X has not made it into shops yet. This said, it's likely a temporary delay and it's only question of time before consumers will hold foldable phones in their hands. We are looking forward to seeing how other manufacturers will design camera implementations for the new form factor and how the design can help take mobile photography to the next step.