I think it’s safe to say that the folding phone form-factor is here to stay, with folks like Samsung, Huawei, and even Motorola getting in on the action in recent years. But is a flexible OLED the only way to achieve a 2-in-1 tablet/smartphone device? Certainly not, with Oppo announcing a rollable prototype phone back in November 2020: the Oppo X 2021.
At the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the company took the covers off its next-gen concept device in a couple of videos that explain how the rollable phone prototype works. Have a watch (it’s worth it):
As you probably already know, the main difference between Oppo’s concept and other, commercially-available foldable phones is how the bendable display rolls up to hide part of itself within the phone’s body. Oppo is also utilising a Roll Motor powertrain mechanism when the display is stretched out into tablet mode, going from 6.7″ to 7.4″ in size.
The video also details how Oppo’s new Warp Track technology, which uses high-strength steel as its main material, increases the “resilience” of the display and and offers sufficient support for the rollable screen. In a clear jab at foldable screens and the infamous creases associated with them, Oppo also assures that the OLED display on the Oppo X concept can flex—without leaving a mark or crease on the screen.
A 2-in-1 Plate support plate for the display means that the concept phone is “robust”—whichever mode it’s being used in. Supposedly, this technology ensures that the display doesn’t “collapse inward” by ensuring that the two “support substrates” come closer together to form a single surface when the display is retracted.
So, will this replace foldable phones in the future? Oppo appears to think so, although there hasn’t been any word on a future, commercially-available release. But the Chinese company claims that rollable displays “open up more possibilities for productivity, entertainment, and daily use” compared to foldable screen devices. Obviously, we haven’t gotten our hands on a rollable phone thus far, so take that claim with a pinch of salt for now.
Of course, without a crease, this already has one marked benefit over options from Samsung, Huawei, and others. It’s worth noting that TCL also came up with something similar at the beginning of 2020, although that model was also a concept, not available to the public. But now that we’re seeing another manufacturer toy with the idea, perhaps we’ll see a rollable phone on the market sooner rather than later.
So, what do you guys think? Does this have the potential to overtake the foldable phone form-factor? Let us know in the comments section down below.
[ VIA ]