Is it a Smartphone? Is it a Tablet? You Decide!

June 24, 2011
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    A relatively unknown player in the mobile space, Imerj, has just dropped a little two screen gem on us. A prototype, it’s designed to be a hybrid smartpad/smartphone. Basically it’s vying for the difficult to distinguish sweet space of something that’s not too big, but also not too small. How does it stack up? Read on to find out, but remember folks, sadly, this is a prototype. Plus, couple in the fact that Imerj isn’t, say, as big as Motorola or Samsung, means that we have to take this with a grain of salt for now. Still – we’re excited.

    Running the Android operating system (still unknown which version), this clam shell inspired tablephone concept reminds us of Sony’s soon-to-go-on-sale S2 Honeycomb clam shell Honeycomb tablet. Inherent to the design is the ability to interact with one or two screens. While details are scarce at this moment, the video you will find below fleshes out the details, and in reality, gives us a good idea of what to expect in the future as manufacturers seek to one-up each other by producing highly innovative ideas.

    Upon first glance, it does in fact look a lot like the Sony S2 when “opened-up” – sans curvaceousness. However, at first, it looks like a regular smartphone. Hiding behind however, is a hinged section which folds round to turn the device into a small 6 inch tablet.

    To overcome the problem typical of foldable devices, a touch-sensitiveĀ bezel has been implemented, and looks to perform as promised, at least according to the video below. Imerj is referring to this as “Smart Gestures”. You can use the top part to swipe, and even move apps between the two screens, among other things.

    When you then rotate the device round to the left or right it can auto-expand applications into full screen view. For example, whenever you message someone, you are able to view the message thread across the two screens, and use one for a keyboard, while still being able to see the message thread. Very handy indeed.

    Plus, as you will see in the video, is that the device is capable of connecting to your TV. The video demonstrates that it can output video to the big screen while you browse the web and playing Angry Birds on the two screens.

    It’s reputed to have displays with Gorilla Glass on top, and the panels themselves will use Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology to boot. Additionally, they will only be separated by a few millimetres of bezel.

    Unfortunately folks, it’s still but a distant dream as you read this. It’s a prototype, so you can close your wallet for now. Still, we doubt they would have made it this far unless they had some substantial backing, and with legitimate players like Sony, Kyocera, and Nintendo already putting their money where their mouths are in the “foldable device” space, we think it’s highly likely it will see the light of day. There’s still no word as to when we can expect to see it go to market, but it is looking mighty tempting. My only concern would be the potential for the screens to be easily damaged, as they will be exposed when the device is in the closed position.

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