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Oppo X 2021 first impressions: Shaping the future by unrolling it

I love tech companies that push boundaries. It’s the only way we will progress as a society. Sometimes that means pushing how much smartphone you can get for your money, other times that means pushing their luck to see how much they can get you to pay for a smartphone.

Then, there are times like these, where a company like Oppo, who built their modern brand on the corpses of overpriced “selfie expert” devices, rolling out a phone like the Oppo X 2021. It’s their idea of a smartphone of tomorrow, and I gotta say I’m kinda impressed.

I won’t be going into detail in this post, because I’d encourage you to watch the video. It’s truly something you should see in action because me talking about how a phone rolls won’t do it justice.

But, the gist of my thoughts is: I think that as a concept it’s not that far off from a folding smartphone. Small device that can expand into a much larger device for productivity or content consumption. What’s more, despite being a concept phone, the software appears to work surprisingly well. No awkward screen glitches like those we saw on first-gen folding smartphones.

That said, is it a device that is strictly more practical than a folding phone? Probably not. I don’t think there’s a real way to waterproof it, and although it is rated for over 200,000 cycles, are motorised parts more reliable in the long run than a hinge?

Still, it’s an exploration of something that not everyone has thought of before. And that’s kinda cool. As important as it is to know what works, it’s also by knowing what doesn’t work that we can grow in the right direction.