Just when phones were starting to feel stale in terms of design options, we saw the introduction of folding-screen smartphones such as the Galaxy Z Fold. Then dual-screen phones made a comeback in 2020, with the Microsoft Surface Duo and the uniquely T-shaped LG Wing.
And now, in 2021, we're expecting a whole new generation of smartphones – the rollables. Chinese companies such as Oppo have already teased their own rollable phones and Samsung likely has one in the works, but here we'll focus on what LG is about to introduce – the yet-unnamed LG rollable phone.
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LG Rollable phone release date and name
According to reports, the LG Rollable smartphone should arrive sometime in March 2021, and will be the newest product part of LG’s Explorer Project. Unless the release date gets delayed, it will also be the first commercially available rollable phone in the world.
As for the name of the phone, we knew since November 2020 that LG had filed a trademark in the European Union for the names "LG Rollable" and "LG Slide". On January 11, 2021, LG showed the following teaser confirming the LG Rollable name to indeed be the one:
LG Rollable phone price
Although we don't have official information on how much the LG Rollable will cost yet, we've come to expect high prices of smartphones that introduce new technology to the market. Those, such as the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Motorola Razr 2020 and Microsoft Surface Duo range anywhere between $1,400 and $2,000. The LG Rollable/Slide could easily cost between $1,400 and $2,000 at launch also.
LG Rollable phone design and display
Although we don't have official images of the phone yet, we can see what it will probably look like thanks to design renders courtesy of LetsGoDigital. Those are based on LG's own patent for the phone.
The LG Rollable phone will feature a flexible OLED display, which as the phone's name suggests, will be able to roll inside the housing of the phone when the user needs a normal-sized phone experience, also making it pocketable. When the user is after a more tablet-like experience, the same display can be rolled out of the housing to essentially turn the LG Rollable phone into a tablet.
The LG Rollable is designed to allow the display to be extended on both the left and right sides of the phone, and the process could possibly be motorized. If not, the user will be able to pull on each side of the phone manually to extend the display. Thanks to this solution, there will be no crease in the middle of this sliding-screen smartphone, like we've come to expect from folding phones, as the LG Rollable phone's display does not have a single bending point.
The phone will run Android 10 or possibly 11, with its interface smoothly adapting to the display's rolled-out and rolled-in states, and adjusting to how the user holds the phone. When the display is rolled into the body of the phone, the LG Rollable will function just as a normal-sized Android smartphone. And when the display is pulled out, the phone is likely going to allow for a seamless multi-tasking experience with multiple open apps, if the user needs it. If not, the phone will simply display a single app, video or game on a larger scale.
Here is a demonstration of how the Android operating system will adapt to rollable smartphones, such as the LG Rollable, in both their "standard" and rolled out display modes:
As suggested by its patent, the LG Rollable will have its volume buttons on the left side and a power button on the right. It's not known if the selfie camera will be a punch-hole one or built into the top bezel of the phone, and there's also no information on what cameras we should expect to see at the back of the phone. It is reasonable to expect a triple camera module on the back, holding a wide, ultrawide and telephoto cameras, as is often the case with current flagships.