Phones that transform into smaller devices or convert into tablets are here with devices like the Huawei Mate X, Samsung Fold, Motorola Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip already available in some markets.

Apparently TCL was set to show-off their version of a ‘foldable’ at MWC this year. Now renders of that device have leaked out showing an intriguing sliding screen.

The images that are surfacing show a typical looking phone when closed, looking very similar to any curved edge device. One noticeable element are the vertical lines on the right had side near the front facing hold punch cameras. This is where the magic lives.

The images depict that the phone telescopes out sidewise making the display almost square looking. To enable this there must be a rollable display, similar to those shown off by LG at the last 2 CES, or a very complicated folding mechanism.

OK, these are renders potentially of a concept, but let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and take a pinch of salt. This is an intriguing concept, almost Sci Fi, with users simply pulling the display out to get a larger UI, creating a larger display seemingly out of nowhere. That’s actually pretty cool..

If we land back on earth for a bit, the execution of this Sci Fi dream would make or break such a device. Specs, battery life, screen quality all important, I think the Razr vs Galaxy Z Fold comparison are showing that. But more importantly would be how that sliding display feels to use, will it get “gunked” up?

While a few renders are a long way from a real work product TCL has a history of bringing some interesting concepts to physical form. This any may other reasons is why we’re sad that MWC was cancelled and why we think there will always be a place for these large trade shows.