Rollable smartphones could be further along than we thought.
What you need to know
- The OPPO X 2021 is shown off in new videos looking quite finished.
- Sliding your finger across the power button on the side of the device activates the powertrain motor.
- There is still no expected commercial release for the OPPO X 2021.
Last year, LG teased a rollable smartphone at the end of the LG Wing announcement, which got fans pretty excited. Things got a little more interesting at CES when LG showed off a full-on teaser of what’s now known as the LG Rollable. Of course, OPPO is not one to be left out of experimental weirdness and showed off a rollable phone concept of its own late last year, with no commercial release planned. Since then, a few hands-on videos have shown the OPPO X 2021 in action, and it looks very much like a finished product.
Two videos show the rollable phone being used in action, expanding and retracting the display during use. When retracted, the smartphone OLED measures 6.7 inches, which expands out to 7.4 inches. The mechanism is activated by double-tapping or sliding your dinger across the power button on the side of the device. While the device expands or retracts, content on the display will adjust accordingly, and the transition looks surprisingly smooth.
OPPO uses what’s called a Roll Motor powertrain that consists of two internal motors to make it work. The OLED display features 0.1mm thick laminate for strength, as well as internal plate support to keep things in place.
The display moves along this central axis and the slider ensures it follows a smooth arc. After extensive testing, the central axis diameter was fixed at 6.8mm – a magic number that makes it possible for the display to bend with virtually no trace.
Unfortunately, there’s still no word on if or when the OPPO X 2021 will make a commercial debut, but if LG is planning to release its own rollable phone this year, we might expect the same from OPPO. The company did tell Newshub that this was done to represent what the rollable phone experience should be like and that they were „excited about what it could bring in the future when we’re able to get it to the mass production stage,“ so it could eventually reach consumers. And as with some of the best foldable phones, first-generation rollable phones may have some kinks to iron out as well as a hefty price tag attached to them.
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