Now there are smartphones with roll-out displays

The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) gives manufacturers worldwide the opportunity to showcase their latest technologies. At this year’s fair, the focus is on new, unusual display technologies. Like a roll-out AMOLED display that could revolutionize the smartphone market.

There have been big changes in the smartphone market in the past two years. After having been dominated by models with a fixed display for years, flexible devices with a flexible screen appeared for the first time in 2019. Now the next trend is announced. Both LG and TCL presented roll-out smartphone displays at CES 2021. With the LG Rollable, LG even showed a finished mobile phone concept in a video.

LG Rollable – smartphone with a roll-out display

The manufacturer LG continues to surprise us with new technologies, shapes and solutions in the electronics sector. The company not only launched the first smartphone with a QHD display, it was also the first to introduce a mobile phone with a curved screen. The LG Rollable, which was teased at the end of its CES press conference, could also be a smartphone that attracts attention due to its unusual display.

As can be seen in the short clip, the display of the LG Rollable can be extended steplessly, thus enlarging the screen area. In contrast to foldable displays, there are no kinks or gaps in the screen due to the rolling mechanism. This is possibly the decisive advantage over the folding smartphones from Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and Co.

Also read: LG Wing in the test – smartphone with revolutionary display

LG is probably based on Oppo and TCL

However, LG does not reveal how the roll-out mechanism works in detail. So far, the LG Rollable has only been a concept that is not yet ready for the market. The South Korean manufacturer seems to have oriented itself towards Oppo and TCL. With the Oppo X 2021, the Chinese company showed a similar prototype at Inno Day 2020 in November. TCL presented its concept a little earlier at IFA 2020 in September.

Unlike TCL’s concept, Oppo has already given more precise information about its roll-out smartphone. The Oppo X 2021 therefore has a 6.7-inch display that can be rolled out to a diagonal of 7.4 inches. The whole thing works motor-driven via a roll-out mechanism attached to the left side of the device. So that the screen remains stable even when it is rolled out, the panel rests on a thin plate made of toothed and therefore flexible struts.

TCL shows its new roll-out display

TCL also used CES 2021 to present its new roll-out AMOLED displays. The company has been working on the concept for a long time and, as already mentioned above, showed a corresponding smartphone prototype at IFA 2020.

TCL had two flexible display technologies with them at the trade fair. First, there was a 17-inch model called the Printed OLED Scrolling Display . According to TCL, the self-illuminating OLED screen is just 0.18 millimeters thick. It can be completely rolled up like a sheet of paper. The manufacturer has improved the quality of the screen with the help of modern inkjet printing technology, so that its manufacturing costs have been reduced by 20 percent. The representation should also be visibly better than with previous prototypes. TCL sees the use of the Printed OLED Scrolling Display in flexible televisions, curved and foldable displays and transparent commercial displays, for example. 

The newly introduced AMOLED rollable display is also interesting . This is a more compact, 6.7-inch AMOLED screen that can be rolled out to a size of 7.8 inches. This makes it slightly larger than the screen used in the Oppo prototype. TCL has already built the new display into a roll-out smartphone, which, with a total thickness of around 10 millimeters, is thinner than the already known folding smartphones.

The new model is also said to have some advantages over folding smartphones and earlier rollable display prototypes. For example, TCL states that the improved design of the flexible smartphone display means that the sliding mechanism can be reduced to three millimeters. The screen, which was originally rolled up and hidden in the case, can be pulled out with a simple push of a button. The manufacturer specifies the service life of the sliding mechanism as around 100,000 rolling processes. The software interface can also be adapted for one-handed operation and multitasking.

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