Foldable devices are old news – What you need to know about rollable phones [video]

Cellphone manufacturer Oppo this week held its second annual “Inno Day” event. It’s a wonderous event where new products in concept form are showed off.

At this year’s event, Oppo headlined two innovative devices – a phone with a rolling screen and AR Glass (augmented reality) – to give us a glimpse of the future could hold. We’ll be focusing on the phone in this article.

The future is here: It’s rollable phones

What a rollable phone would look like

The device is still in its research and development phase. It has an OLED screen, such as you would find in a regular phone. However, the 6.7-inch can expand into a 7.4-inch tablet-like panel.

Oppo also explained that it would be using a “Roll Motor” powertrain mechanism to make it happen. In the simplest terms, the device would rely on two motors to extend or retract the screen.

Oppo explains that the Roll Motor protects the screen as it’s extended and retracted. In addition, the brand will be using “Two in One Plate” technology to support the display.

Watch: Rollable phone concept

Other than a creating a “rollable phone screen” which has no visible crease (amazing, right?), the phone also features a side fingerprint scanner, as well as a USB-C port on the bottom.

But wait, there’s more. Oppo would also be using tech called “Warp Track” as a sort of conveyer under the moving screen section to offer additional resilience. A launch date was not confirmed.

While not the first rollable phone we’ve seen, it’s the best to date and hopefully won’t be the last. LG unveiled their own version of a rollable device earlier this month.

LG Wing (or LG Slide)

Known as the Wing, the device has a main screen that slides to the side to reveal a smaller screen underneath. Images of the device were first leaked back in August when Let’s Go Digital unearthed the patent.

lg wing
Image via Let’s Go Digital

Then in September, LG unveiled a prototype of the Wing, showing off the device’s innovative swivel action. The LG Wing will be the first phone in LG’s Explorer Project.

Earlier this month, Let’s Go Digital revealed that LG also trademarked the name LG Slide. This indicates that the company hasn’t decided on an official name yet, but is covering all its trademarked bases in the interim.

It is, without a doubt, the “weirdest phone of 2020”, but in a good way, of course. At the time, trusted phone analyst and reviewer Marques Brownlee said:

“LG Wing. Phones are weird again. But also half of these use cases are awesome and half are really weird. Why do I need a second screen to tell me what phone call I’m on?”

Samsung’s mystery device

And just three days ago, Samsung’s Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong showed off an unreleased phone during his recent visit to manufacturing giant’s offices in Seoul, South Korea.

If rumours around the interwebs are to be believed, Samsung’s upcoming rollable phone would have a flexible panel made of plastic and measure between 6 to 8 inches.

It looks too thin to be a foldable phone, with Phone Arena mentioning the world’s first “stretchable handset”. The only image of the phone is a bit unclear, but we’re hoping that Samsung would reveal more at CES 2021.

rollable phone
Image via Phone Arena