Samsung is rumored to be making a foldable smartphone, which might arrive early next year. But now it seems LG is also planning to build its own foldable smartphone as the company has already been granted a patent for such a device.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted LG its foldable smartphone patent on June 28, but it was originally filed in late-2017, as first discovered by LetsGoDigital. The device shown in the patent looks like a regular smartphone that comes with a bezel-less design. However, the device features a hinge on its back that allows users to fold the phone vertically like a clamshell flip phone.

The hinge mechanism on the LG smartphone is able to move apart when the device is folded, which prevents any possible damage to the phone’s flexible display. The hinge has a four-link design and it appears to work a lot like the hinge that’s on the Microsoft Surface Book, as pointed out by GSM Arena.

The patent also mentions that the handset would have magnets that would allow the smartphone to stay in its folded state. When users flip open the smartphone, the display will turn on automatically, according to Android Authority.

The foldable smartphone shown in the patent will apparently have two microphones, dual speakers and dual antennas. All of those hardware features will be placed under the flexible display, at the top and bottom portions. One of its most interesting features is how the rear-facing camera is able to take videos while the smartphone is closed or in its folded state.

In one illustration, the device is seen clipped to a user’s shirt pocket with the camera pointed outwards. This may suggest that LG is working on a camera feature that allows users to take videos from their point of view. If this is truly the case, then the the smartphone can also be used like a GoPro camera or like Snapchat’s Spectacles.

It wasn’t specifically mentioned that the smartphone will have a front-facing camera. However, users will still be able take photos of themselves by folding the phone into a stand. What remains unclear is how exactly users will be able to operate the shutter release in this configuration. Perhaps LG will put some kind of new timer mode to assist when taking photos.

LG hasn’t officially announced any plans on releasing a foldable smartphone, but this patent seems like a confirmation that the company is seriously considering it. This isn’t that all too surprising, knowing that its biggest competitor in South Korea, Samsung, is already set to release its own foldable smartphone early next year.

LG has been granted a patent for a foldable smartphone. REUTERS/Sergio Perez