CES is home to all kinds of weird and wonderful gadgets, and while these devices often don’t end up available for purchase, they do have implications for the tech industry as a whole. A perfect example of this are foldables, rollables, and other kinds of malleable smartphones.
At CES 2021, a few companies have shown off their latest and greatest rollable phones, giving us a glimpse at what the future of the smartphone could look like. Here are some of the coolest foldable and rollable phones we saw at CES 2021.
Perhaps the star of the show when it comes to foldable and rollable devices is the new LG Rollable. For now, the device is a concept — but it’s also an early peek at what will be a real phone that may be available for purchase later this year.
The device basically expands and contracts from a phone size into a small tablet size. It’s not necessarily the phone-to-tablet experience that many are wanting from a device like this, but it still gives users a little extra screen real-estate for when they want it.
Apart from the fact that the device expands and contracts depending on how you want to use it, not much is known about the LG Rollable — but more will almost certainly be revealed in the near future.
TCL is also making progress on the future of rollable phones. The company has been showing off rollable displays for a few years now, but this year it seems to have a few actual form factors in mind. The first of those is a phone with a 6.7-inch display that rolls out into a device with a 7.8-inch display. TCL says that the device is less than 10mm thick, which is much thinner than a foldable phone.
Of course, right now this device is just a concept and we don’t know if and when TCL plans on releasing it, or a variant of it, to the public.
One of the most interesting (and most unlikely to be released at any point in the next few years) is TCL’s other concept — the 17-inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display. The form factor is essentially a scroll, which is rolled up around two rods, and can expand to a hefty 17-inch screen. In the concept, it doesn’t seem as though the display is touch sensitive, though then again, the concept in TCL’s video is clearly just CGI. It’s unclear, and unlikely, that TCL has actually built a working prototype of this device just yet.
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