Forget about folding phone because, rollable screen phone is about to become a reality. Oppo has just revealed the Oppo x 2021 Rollable Screen Concept Phone which it actually has a few working prototypes.
Oppo is not alone in rollable screen phone. TCL is apparently working on one too. Anyhoo… the images and video we have seen so far, it is an answer to nagging crease problem faced by today’s folding phones.
To be clear, rollable display phone is not a new kind of display; it is actually folding phone, but “folded” and “unfolds” differently.
Oppo X 2021 Rollable Screen Concept Phone has what Oppo referred to as continuously variable OLED display that expands from 6.7-7.4 inches and 70 mm to 107 mm. The display is, of course, flexible OLED.
Electric motors are used to extend and retract the screen. A series of roller, each 6.8 mm in diameter, guides the screen when extending or retracting. Oppo said 6.8 mm is the optimal diameter to achieve a crease-free display.
Underneath the screen is a so-called 2-in-1 plate that supports the screen. The plate appears to be one complete piece (though we can’t actually see it) when in 6.7-inch screen size, but it splits into two, like two combs with alternating “teeth”. This help to achieve a solid backing which, according to a Sina reporter, achieves the touch feel of a regular phone’s screen. The screen is complete by a laminate that is as thin as 0.1 mm.
Oppo said it has filed 122 patents just for this device. Of which, 12 are related to the rollable screen mechanism.
Now that there is at least a working prototype, albeit one without a front-facing camera (yet), we can fully expect rollable screen phones to be a reality next year. I mean, Oppo X 2021 is a big hint, innit?
Images: Weibo (馮偉文) [CH].