Toyota Corolla Cross Review

PROS:

  • Comfortable, calm ride
  • Affordable
  • Boomin’ sound system

CONS:

  • Underpowered
  • Too few USB ports
  • Somewhat anonymous

RATINGS:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR’S QUOTE:

Toyota’s little SUV doesn’t exactly reach out and grab you to make a first impression. But, spend some time with one and you’ll find a comfortable, capable partner available at a compelling price.

With the rush of every manufacturer on the planet to meet the unyielding need for more and more crossover SUVs, every consumer everywhere seemingly yearning for the things, there’s enough volume there for manufacturers to come up with their own interesting, unique take on the segment. Something quirky, something different, something perhaps a bit weird.

The 2023 Corolla Cross is none of those things. From the conservative exterior to the monotone interior, Toyota’s little SUV doesn’t exactly reach out and grab you to make a first impression. But, spend some time with one and you’ll find a comfortable, capable partner available at a compelling price.

Growing up

It almost feels a bit derivative for Toyota to call its littlest SUV the Corolla Cross, milking nearly 60 years worth of name recognition for small, value-oriented motoring. But the Corolla Cross is very much a bigger, taller version of the stoic Corolla, and for that reason you have to respect the no-nonsense nomenclature here.

That said, for a crossover SUV that shares so much with the sedan, on the outside there’s very little visually to connect the two. It starts up front with a tall, dark grille that itself sits on top of more dark material, some black plastic cladding that runs all the way around the car, forming the lower extents of the fenders, rocker panels, and rear bumper. This gives the car a slightly chunky, vaguely rugged look that’s necessary for this segment.

The blocky fender flares help in that regard, too, highlighting the rear tail-lights, which stand out from the receding flanks of the car. A tiny spoiler mounted on the top of the hatch gives only the tiniest of sporting pretensions, mounted just aft of the only real bit of visual flare: a tiny chrome badge that says “Corolla Cross.”

All that cladding on the front, back, and sides pairs well with the Blue Crush Metallic paint, a color that, like the rest of the car, is pretty straightforward.

While the outside of the Corolla Cross doesn’t share too much with its namesake, it’s a completely different story on the inside. The interior is an almost identical clone of that found in the Corolla hatch and sedan. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing. Surely it helps keep the cost down, a factor I’ll be referencing a lot in this review, but regardless it’s a nicely laid out and well-made space.

The dash is a combination of simple, clean shapes of soft-touch plastics embossed with an unfortunate faux leather pattern, complete with pretend stitching. With so many premium manufacturers like Volvo and Mercedes-Benz going out of their way to offer vegan interiors, I’m inclined to say it’s time for manufacturers to give up on the pretend leather patterns.

Materials overall are good, hard plastics limited to the lower door cards and center console between the seats, though the headliner does feel a little cardboardy. Only the gloss piano black surfaces around the shifter and infotainment system are a real bother. They’re impossible to keep clean at the best of times and, given how your average Corolla gets used, they’re liable to be properly filthy in the wild.

The center stack contains a simple, separate HVAC row with a pair of temperature knobs for driver and passenger, a few physical buttons, and a little LCD for temperature and mode readouts. Up above the vents you’ll find the main infotainment touchscreen, eight inches in the XLE and standing proud out of the dashboard.

This is flanked with another pair of knobs, including one for volume thank goodness, plus eight buttons for going home or skipping straight to various sections of Entune. Entune itself is, well, Entune, dated and tired but perfectly functional. There’s no navigation out of the box, you’ll need to install that separately, but if you’re going to go through the trouble of connecting your smartphone I’d say you might as well just use either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Either of which work just fine here so long as you don’t mind plugging in.

That means the lone front USB port up front will be used to drive the infotainment experience. There’s a wireless Qi charger, too, but if your passenger wants to gain a little juice and use their phone at the same time they’re out of luck. Rear-seat passengers, meanwhile, get one each of USB Type-A and USB Type-C.

The gauge cluster is a large, centrally mounted LCD. A physical tachometer runs up the left side and, on the right, separate dials for fuel level and coolant temperature. That large central LCD doesn’t offer much in the way of customization, its middle section able to cycle through things like trip info and ADAS status — all the usual stuff and nothing too flashy. Much like the rest of the car, then.

There is, though, one thing that’ll make you sit up and take notice: the nine-speaker JBL sound system. This thing kicks. Sure, it lacks a little finesse, and I had to drop the bass in the settings before I could really hear the lyrics clearly in most of the music I listened to, but for a car this affordable it’s a great system. Bass lovers will find little need to upgrade.

Patient driving

While so much of the car is fair to middling, if there’s one area sure to leave you wanting it’s the powertrain department. The Corolla Cross features a 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable transmission. The CVT here does its best to ape a traditional automatic, changing ratios to simulate gear shifts every now and again, but still you’d best get used to the continuous droning complaints of each of the four cylinders whenever you push the accelerator flat to the floor.

And you’re liable to do that a lot. Anytime you want to get up a hill, for example, or accelerate to highway speed. Passing on a two-lane road? You’d best make sure the road is clear for a good, long way before putting on that turn signal. This is the same motor used in the smaller, 175-pound lighter, FWD Corolla. Here, dragging around a heavier, AWD Corolla Cross, it struggles.

It is, at least, frugal. The Corolla Cross in XLE trim is rated at 29 mpg city, 32 highway, and 30 combined. In my mixed testing I came in at 29.2 mpg.

Underwhelming though it may be, lack of performance is not the end of the world. The Corolla Cross is perfectly driveable and, if you’re a little less impatient on your commutes than I, you’ll be just fine. In fact, with the Corolla Cross’s relaxed suspension and comforting ride, there’s no reason to push.

Your back-seat passengers will probably appreciate your taking it easy anyway. There isn’t exactly a massive amount of legroom back there, but it’s enough, plus plenty of headroom. There’s seating for three-across, but unless your guests are small you’re better off keeping it to two and letting them use the flip-down armrest.

When rolling solo, the seats split and fold 60/40, giving easy access to the 25.2 cubic feet of storage space (slightly more, 26.5, if you go with the FWD version). The rear of the car is accessed through a power liftgate (part of the $1,250 Convenience Package), where the floor has handy cubbies on the left and right, perfect for stuffing avocados and other bits of produce from your grocery run that are otherwise liable to roll around on the ride home.

In terms of active safety, the Corolla Cross comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes the usual niceties like adaptive cruise and advanced lane-keep assist. It does a fair job of keeping you centered in the lane, but beeps annoyingly any time you stray near the lines.

If you want blind-spot monitoring, you’ll need to opt for at least the mid-tier LE model, which also gives you rear cross-traffic alert, ensuring you don’t back yourself into trouble. Finally, step up to the top-trim XLE and you also get parking assist sensors along with automatic emergency braking.

Pricing and Options

The base Corola Cross L starts at $22,445. The model you see here, however, is a top-trim XLE AWD, with a starting price of $27,625. $1,465 added on that banging JBL sound system, plus an integrated alarm, while $1,250 brought the power liftgate and sunroof to the party. Self-leveling and auto-dimming headlights add another $615, plus $249 for cargo mats and $299 for the crossbars on the roof rack.

Total price for the car you see here was $32,718, including a $1,215 destination charge. That’s for a fully loaded car, and one that feels like it, but the sweet spot is found on the lower-spec Corolla Cross LE in FWD, which you can get with the brighter, light gray interior and still spec many of the desirable options, walking away with a lot more money in your pocket.

Regardless how you option it out, you’ll wind up with a nice-driving, comfortable, and clean-looking SUV that’ll do a great job of hauling you and all your stuff wherever you need to go — just so long as you’re not in a hurry to get there.

The post Toyota Corolla Cross Review first appeared on Yanko Design.

Five online architecture and design events taking place in January

Photo of foot and kitchenware on a surface

We’ve chosen five current and upcoming online events listed in Dezeen Events Guide taking place in January 2023, including a series of online talks hosted by the British Museum called Egyptomania! and the design festival DesignTO.

Also featured are Showcase Japan, a series of talks from RIBA, and The Architecture of Virtual Space.

Photo of food and kitchenware on a surface
Knives by Seki Kanetsugu are exhibited at Showcase Japan

Showcase Japan
1 August 2023 to 31 January 2023, online

New York-based homeware platform Shoppe Object and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) have partnered to create an online marketplace exhibiting and selling Japanese products.

The exhibition, titled Showcase Japan, highlights 25 Japanese brands and aims to make them accessible to the US market.

The marketplace includes homeware, fashion and lifestyle products, such as jewellery, candles, vases, bedding, clothing and kitchenware.

Photo of a hanging installation
DesignTO hosts online and in-person events. Photo is by Huy Tran

DesignTO
20 to 29 January 2023, various locations across Toronto, Canada and online

DesignTO is a design festival taking place across Toronto in January. Alongside the in-person events, including exhibitions, installations and tours, the festival is hosting online events for global attendees.

The virtual events include talks addressing topics such as waste management, circular construction and health equity in public spaces.

DesignTO is also hosting online portfolio reviews with support from local design communities who will provide feedback and analysis for Toronto-based brands.

RIBA January talks
24 to 31 January 2023, online

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) presents a series of online talks in January.

Two of the talks are part of the organisation’s Building Stories series, in which architects discuss the process of developing a RIBA award-winning building.

In January, director and sustainability leader at Max Fordham, Hero Bennett discusses the Harris Academy in Sutton with architects at Architype, while partner at Glenn Howells Architects, Dav Bansal talks about the design of Ibstock Place School Refectory and public house The Alice Hawthorn with architects from Maccreanor Lavington and De Matos Ryan.

RIBA also hosts a mastermind on sustainability, which is for members to gain support from each other and discuss the AECB Building Standard.

The final talk addresses neurodiverse-friendly architecture as part of its Just Equity Diversity Inclusion (JEDI) programme.

The talks take place on 24, 25, 26 and 31 January 2023.

Image of a virtual meditation space
Ricardo Solar designed a virtual meditation space for the exhibition

The Architecture of Virtual Space
25 January 2023, online

Five American and South Korean architectural studios have partnered with the online gallery The Unbuilt Gallery to exhibit virtual meditation spaces.

San Francisco-based Ricardo Solar, New York-based Forma Rosa Studios, Beom Jun Kim and No Architecture and Seoul-based Saul Kim are the studios showcasing their work in the exhibition.

The spaces are developed with virtual reality and real-time graphics and can be explored on 25 January at 6 pm New York time or 11 pm London time.

Egyptomania!
26 January 2023, online

Egyptomania! is a series of online talks hosted by the British Museum that addresses how ancient Egypt has influenced 20th and 21st century architecture.

The three talks will address tourist art and its origins in Egypt, the work of modern artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore and Mahmoud Mokhtar, and the buildings informed by the period, including cinemas, mills and synagogues.

Aart historian Dan Cruickshank chairs the discussions with Egyptologist Dr Benjamin Hinson; curator of art and visual culture at the Science Museum, Anna Ferrari; and writer and researcher, Chris Elliott.

The talks take place alongside the Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt exhibition, which runs from 13 October 2022 to 19 February 2023.

About Dezeen Events Guide

Dezeen Events Guide is our guide to the best architecture and design events taking place across the world each year.

The guide is updated weekly and includes virtual events, conferences, trade fairs, major exhibitions and design weeks, as well as up-to-date information about what events have been cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Inclusion in the guide is free for basic listings, with events selected at Dezeen’s discretion. Organisers can get enhanced or premium listings for their events, including images, additional text and links, by paying a modest fee.

In addition, events can ensure inclusion by partnering with Dezeen. For more details on inclusion in Dezeen Events Guide and media partnerships with Dezeen, email eventsguide@dezeen.com.

The post Five online architecture and design events taking place in January appeared first on Dezeen.

Unlimited-Length Sticky Notes

In my opinion, part of the genius of 3M’s Post-Its are their limitations: With just 3″-square of real estate, you can only jot down so much on one sheet, forcing you to be concise.

However, Japanese stationery company Yamato sees a market for determine-your-own-length sticky notes. They produce this Memoc Sticky Notes Tape Roll, which allows you to tear off exactly the length you need; a 5mm grid or 7mm-spaced lines printed on the paper give you something to aim for, if you’re too anal to eyeball it.

The configuration means the entire roll is coated with adhesive, not just a little strip at the top; but the company says “It is just as easy to stick, remove, and reposition as an ordinary sticky note.”

I do wonder what 3M’s lawyers make of this.

Photographer Angel Fitor Captures Life Inside a Drop of Seawater

A single drop of seawater can teem with living creatures. Though this world is invisible to the naked eye, Spanish wildlife photographer Angel Fitor devised a way to capture these infinitesimal ecosystems, from the mating of copepods (one of the most abundant animals on the planet, which range from 0.2 to 1.7 millimeters long) to a sea worm protecting an egg. The project took three years to perfect. The process behind it begins with gathering water samples from the Mediterranean Sea and immediately photographing them so as not to lose the vibrant colors of the copepods who turn a dull brown when they die. Under LED lighting and strong air conditioning (which prevents the water from evaporating), Fitor uses binoculars to pipette a single droplet, which takes hours as some samples do not contain any creatures. The result is awe-inspiring and vivid. Read more about his work and view his photography at Smithsonian Magazine.

Image courtesy of Angel Fitor

Vilhelm Hertz's Bespoke Handmade Crutches from Denmark

A pair of Danish craftsmen have used their design/build skills to improve the lives of those with disabilities. Their mission has spread to Japan.

We tend to be picky about the objects we use to get around every day, whether those are cars, bicycles, footwear. For those with permanent mobility issues, having the right crutch is everything. Mass-market, adjustable-height aluminum crutches of the sort given by hospitals to accident victims are not intended to be lifelong objects; instead they are a one-size-fits-most affair, subject to the brutal realities of mass production.

Thus Lea, a Danish speech therapist with a chronic hip problem dating back to childhood, ditched the standard aluminum crutches and purchased a Lofstrand crutch (see below, also known as an elbow crutch) as soon as she turned 18.

The Lofstrand crutch is a better design for many, but even this is not a lifelong object. Over the years Lea replaced hers many times, but by the time she was 38, the manufacturer she preferred went out of business. In desperation she asked friends and acquaintances if they knew any craftspeople who could repair her Lofstrand. A family member provided a phone number: Call this guy, Kristoffer Vilhelm Pedersen. He’s a master joiner who can fix anything.

The two met, and rather than merely patching up the old crutch, Pedersen began sketching out an ideal crutch design based on Lea’s preferences.

During the prototyping process, Pedersen enlisted his best friend, metal fabricator Thomas Hertz, for help. Together they were able to craft the perfect bespoke crutch for Lea.

That was in 2016. The craftsmen realized there was a gap in the market, and the following year they combined their names to form Vilhelm Hertz, a brand dedicated to producing custom crutches in Oak, Ash, leather and aluminum. These are not adjustable, nor mass-produced; they are custom-fit to each client and constructed with the same attention and care that go into handmade furniture.

As word of Vilhelm Hertz spread, they began selling to customers in Belgium, England and Japan. In 2018 a Japanese craftsman named Naoyuki Miyata traveled to Denmark to train in the Vilhelm Hertz shop for half a year. After learning the process and bonding with the company founders, Miyata was granted permission to set up Vilhelm Hertz Japan as a semi-independent venture to spread the company’s designs. Production would remain in Denmark.

When COVID hit in 2020, Hertz retired from the business to spend more time with his family. Pedersen decided it was time to “bring in fresh forces” and also stepped back from the business, handing it over to a younger pair of craftsmen to continue the mission.

Sadly, as of January 2023, the Vilhelm Hertz website has vanished from the web. But Miyata’s venture lives on; today Vilhelm Hertz Japan is a going concern, and on visits to Denmark to see Pedersen, Miyata posts the occasional photo of the retired craftsman—who himself is now using the products he developed.

Portable controller with advanced flight control buttons is a worthy replacement for dedicated flight gear

Playing Microsoft Flight simulator with a gaming controller has its limitation, but then, not everyone can own a filthy expensive flight simulator to enjoy the game to the fullest. Modern controllers are good for most genres like racing, fighting or arcade; but land flat on their faces when it comes to flight simulator games.

No more as Yawman Arrow combines the features of a joystick, desktop throttle quadrant and rudder controls to give players precise control of the plane’s movement. The compact controller is a god-sent accessory for sim enthusiasts who don’t want to clutter their desks with pricey pedals, throttle controllers or yokes. Basically, ones who value space and portability more than anything else.

Designer: Yawn Flight

The controller comes with dedicated controls for all the complex actions in-game. Things like six programmable buttons, five action D-Pad, a five-way hat switch, dual sliders and vernier-styled controls. This gives gamers very accurate input while flying planes like the Cessna 172 that have push/pull-styled throttle and mixture controls. There’s a pair of mechanically linked rudders (patent pending) that’ll give players a tactical advantage while flying in adverse weather conditions or operating a sim helicopter with advanced controls.

This custom-designed flight sim gamepad is ideal for air combat games with all the levers, wheels and sliders within fingers reach. Not only these features, but the controller has also six action buttons (compared to four on a normal controller) giving the player option to map more controls. There are mindfully designed grips on each side for ergonomic comfort during extended gameplay.

The only downside here I can point out is that it should have been wireless for more added value propositions. According to Yawman, the controller will be released this spring. The probable price tag of the accessory is also unknown at this time.

At the time of launch Yawman Arrow will be compatible with most of the PC flight simulation titles including the Microsoft Flight simulator, Laminar Research’s X-Plane (macOS as well), Lockheed and Martin’s Prepar3D. Infinite Flight for Android is also on the list of officially compatible games, and we can expect more titles to gain compatibility once the controller is popular with gamers.

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Hidden, Complicated Fire Escape Alternatives from Japan

To this New Yorker, moving to Japan was shocking for that country’s lack of fire escapes. Instead, in keeping with Japan’s love of visual order and overall lack of space, hidden fire escape contraptions are installed on balconies (almost all apartments have them; electricity is too expensive to own clothes dryers, so all laundry is air-dried on balconies). These are not all user-friendly affairs, as you’ll see.

This scissors-style evacuation ladder tucks up under the hatch that conceals it.

Here’s how it’s deployed (and re-wound):

Note that the ladders do not touch the ground below, and are untethered; climbing down one as it swings is likely a heart-stopping affair.

This Rescue Line MD ladder, whose use is limited to three-storey buildings, is cleverly concealed and easy to deploy. (But boy that’s a long way down.)

A slightly safer variant is this also-hidden Rescue Line FX ladder, which at least keeps your back against the wall as you descend.

The way that it deploys is pretty cool:

All of the solutions above assume an able-bodied, free-handed, reasonably-fit person will be using the ladder. But what about a parent who has to carry a baby, or an elderly person with grip issues, or someone on crutches? This UD Escape system, which allows the user to control their descent (hydraulically, I believe) one-handed, was designed with a wider range of users in mind:

In action, it looks almost fun:

And finally, what about people in wheelchairs? This UD Escape With [sic] is well-thought-out from a UX perspective (and does not look like a trivial thing to manufacture and install):

The design of both the lid-triggering and the descent control look pretty good:

It’s worth noting that with the exception of the fixed ladder variants, most of these are only designed to go down one floor (or two, in the case of the wheelchair unit). Unlike New York fire escapes, which provide a continuous path down to the ground, these escape mechanisms are installed on each floor; in a fire each would have to be deployed individually, and you’d have to descend to the ground level-by-level, like in a videogame. Suffice it to say I’m glad I never experienced a fire in Japan while I was there.

Careyes, Mexico-Inspired Laúd Tequila

A refreshing ultra-premium blanco that channels the mission of the exclusive enclave

On the Pacific coastline of the Mexican state of Jalisco, the community of Careyes inhabits an architectural wonderland set against sublime natural beauty. More than an exclusive resort, it’s a collection of dreams, ideas and ideals. Though Careyes as a destination might only be known to some, the greater Jalisco region is known to many as the home of tequila. Two years ago, Rocco Brignone and his cousin Giancarlo decided to develop an ultra-premium tequila brand that channeled the spirit of Careyes, a place they’d grown up visiting. Laúd Tequila debuted with a deliciously refreshing blanco that’s certainly a fit for sipping in the enclave, but also anywhere else one can get their hands on a bottle.

“Careyes is where it all starts,” Brignone tells COOL HUNTING. “My grandfather was Italian. He moved to Mexico 55 years ago and established a community along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The reason it’s so magical, beyond the beauty of the land, is the community and what it stands for. My cousin Giancarlo and I wanted to share that experience with the rest of the world: the values of Careyes, the magic that it has.”

Brignone’s blanco runs contrary to the path of other emerging ultra-premium tequila brands, which tend to focus on creamy añejos. “Giancarlo and I prefer blanco,” he explains. “It’s the purest expression of what tequila is meant to be. The distillation process doesn’t have artificial colors or flavoring. The plants are pesticide-free. The juice itself is organic.” This too mirrors a mission of Careyes, to exist within nature without disturbing it.

The cousins spent three weeks visiting a dozen tequila distilleries in search of the perfect partner. “We were blown away when we went to Tequila las Americas in Amatitán,” Brignone says. “It’s a small distillery with one or two brands we’d heard of before. The person that owned the distillery was a farmer. His dad was a farmer. He wanted to produce the most beautiful agaves, with the best piñas. That love for the agave really showed in his product. We fell in love with it.”

The ethos and aesthetics of Careyes infuse the design, as well. “The bottle itself, we made it rectangular because we wanted it to reflect the unique architecture of Careyes,” Brignone says. “As for the packaging, it almost feels like a book—and when you open it, it includes our conditions. Some of the conditions we made for ourselves, others are drawn from the 27 conditions that my grandfather made for Careyes. They are whimsical. Like, you must know the silence of spaces and be comfortable with them. Or, you must admire the sunrise and the sunset. They’re beautiful things to live by and they bring our story together.”

Originally, Laúd was destined for Careyes only. “I wanted to make sure everyone there liked it,” Brignone continues. “When they did, I thought about bringing it to the US. I began to spread the word, not only about the product but its values and what it stands for. It’s not a tequila for people who just want to have a tequila. I want people to know the story of Careyes and the idea of this man in Italy heading to the other side of the world to create something with his imagination.”

A portion of the proceeds from Laúd benefit the Brignone family’s educational foundation in Mexico, which is now 35 years old. Brignone himself dreams of his early days there and his family’s commitment to preservation of the land. “I remember when I was a kid, I’d be so excited to go visit my dad who lives there full-time,” he says. “We’d go camping on the beaches and we’d collect turtle eggs and put them in conservation nests.”

Brignone is quick to admit he is not a connoisseur and this is a labor of love that he embarked upon with his cousin. “I just turned 22. I’m young. I’ve entered one of the most saturated, competitive liquor markets in the States. I have a lot of heart and passion, though,” he says.

As for distribution, Laúd is everywhere in Careyes but also throughout the US. “We didn’t work with a distributor in the US, we worked with a wholesaler, which was a nice way to do it because I could control where the bottles went,” Brignone says. “We wanted it to be in the best spots in New York, LA and Miami. In New York, we’re in members’ clubs Zero Bond, Casa Cipriani, Casa Cruz. In LA, we’re in San Vicente Bungalows, Sunset Tower. In Miami, we’re in Casa Tua and The Setai. You can also buy it nationwide, online, from our retail partner, Sip Tequila.”

“I love members’ clubs because it’s kind of what Careyes is: exclusive and luxurious,” he says. “Giancarlo and I love this idea of being candid. In members’ clubs, you can’t be on your phone. You can’t pose for photos. In Careyes, you have to be in the moment. You have to be yourself and be with the people around you.” Laúd is certainly something worth sharing with others in those moments of togetherness.

Images by Rocco Brignone

TECNO Phantom Vision V concept phone folds, rolls, and has plenty of screens

Although there is still plenty of doubt and hesitation surrounding foldable phones, especially due to their prices, there is no shortage of vendors trying to get into the game nonetheless. It isn’t just foldables either, with some companies doing research and tests on phones with rollable screens as well. This latter category has still to make any formal entry into the mobile market, but there has definitely been plenty of ideas on how such a rollable phone should work. Young brand TECNO, which has been showing off a few bold concepts recently, has also thrown in its two cents, demonstrating a concept of a phone whose screen both folds and rolls yet still has two additional displays for good measure.

Designer: TECNO

Foldable phones try to solve the puzzle of screen size and portability. While many people wouldn’t mind having a large display they can view more content on, they do mind not being able to easily keep it in their pockets or small bags. Foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the OPPO Find N2 offer a small phone-sized device that has a tablet-sized display, but that display is still no match for something like an iPad, at least not in size.

One alternative solution that has been proposed is to combine both foldable and rollable technologies to truly deliver that “tablet in your pocket” experience. That’s precisely what the TECNO Phantom Vision V brings to the table, at least in concept. Just like the aforementioned foldables, the devices opens to reveal the flexible display inside, but it still has one trick up its sleeve. The left side of the device expands further, rolling out additional screen real estate that would be equivalent to a 10.1-inch tablet with a more normal rectangular aspect ratio.

An additional detail that makes the Phantom Vision V a bit more interesting is another small display below the camera array on its back. This mimics the cover display of flip-type clamshell foldables that offer a more restricted set of functionality, mostly for notifications and quick actions. It’s not hard to imagine it’d also be used for taking selfies using the more powerful rear cameras.

It isn’t exactly clear from the video and images if the TECNO Phantom Vision V has a more traditional cover display on the opposite side, allowing the device to be used like a regular phone when folded close. There’s a possibility that the rollable side of the screen would also be used on that external part, which would save up on the components and build costs. That does mean that a flexible part of the screen will be exposed on the outside, which could raise concerns about durability. Given the non-trivial design, it will probably take some time before it even becomes reality, and TECNO isn’t saying anything about its prospective timeline to take the Phantom Vision V into production.

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Stick Double LED Wall Sconce

Designed by Studiopepe for Contardi Italia, the Stick collection comprises textured, architectural lights that are at once sharp and soft. The Double LED Wall Sconce incorporates metal panels (in either satin golden nickel or satin copper) and ribbed plexiglass to create a contrasting prism and soft, ambient lighting. Concealing its screws and hardware, the fixture is elevated, sophisticated and functional.