One of the things I love about TCL is its willingness to show off internal conceptual designs to the press. It’s something we see in the car industry all the time, however it’s quite rare in the consumer technology space AnandTech operates in. This year TCL had a couple of demos for us: a seamless smartphone unibody design, and a unique display that redefines what ‘edge’ really means.

TCL One Piece: The Monkey D. Luffy of Smartphones

Unless you’re eating too much Gum Gum fruit, TCL’s singular unibody One Piece design is quite something to behold. The demo the company presented to us was a smartphone with no visible buttons and no visible holes – a complete device designed to be ingress-free. There are no speaker vents, no charger cable, no headphone jack, no fingerprint sensor, no power button, no volume buttons.

These are all ‘solveable’ items to TCL. The screen can become the speaker, the device can be wirelessly charged only, the fingerprint sensor can be under the screen, the screen can be turned on by a double tap, and the volume can be controlled in the UI. If the rear camears are flush with the rear, it feels seamless. It’s the first smartphone-like device that actually is!

So this is just a technology demo, a showcase. The device on hand isn’t coming to market as is, TCL just wanted to show us that they can think of ideas like this and execute. TCL stated that ultimately this sort of idea is more likely to come to a wearable like technology than a smartphone, but it indicates something that they are investigating.

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  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    Hi, Ian. Great to see that you're a One Piece fan. Well, I'm still stuck in an ancient arc, Thriller Bark to be precise. This article certainly brought a smile to my face. Thank you, sir. Have a great day and see you on the Sunny :)
  • ksec - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    Wanted to comment on the same thing. One Pieces don't get as much attention as Naruto in the western world.
  • jordanclock - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    No visible holes? There's one in the display!
  • quiksilvr - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    Was just about to say that. But it is under the glass so technically not.
  • Santoval - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    I believe that's just to indicate that "Airplane Mode" is active. When it's not active the hole is probably covered by the display. You can see that the other four holes are also covered by the display when it is active, but are exposed when it's switched off.

    However I am not quite sure if the hole that's visible on the left top corner when the display is active (assuming it *is* a hole) is the same hole as the leftmost of the five holes that are visible when the display is inactive... Isn't that single hole much closer to the left top corner than the leftmost of the five holes? Or is the perspective of the pictures playing tricks?
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    It's the front facing camera.
  • ianmills - Monday, September 9, 2019 - link

    Its covered by a chastity screen
  • rocky12345 - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    Great phone spec wise and price wise. Depending on reviews on whether it is good or bad I may just get one of these phones if they can be bought in my country and work on our cell networks.
  • rocky12345 - Thursday, September 5, 2019 - link

    never mind this is just a tech demo I got a bit excited for a second if they take this farther it could be interesting.
  • mpbello - Friday, September 6, 2019 - link

    Whaat? How can you say "spec wise and price wise" when neither specs nor price were mentioned (for obvious reasons).
    Do you start talking shit when you get excited?

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