Hot rumor has Sony prepping a foldable phone with a retractable rolling display

Hot rumor has Sony prepping a foldable phone with a retractable rolling display
After the Royale FlexPai was unveiled last October, it was expected that the big boys would start dominating the foldable phone category. But days before it was to launch the Galaxy Fold, Samsung delayed the release due to a number of issues with the $1,980 device. And depending on your definition of summer, Huawei has also delayed the release of its foldable Mate X by three months. Samsung has apparently made the necssary repairs to the Galaxy Fold, but we can understand why it is not rushing it out right now. Samsung Electronics chief D.J. Koh admitted last week that Sammy had rushed to get its foldable out the first time, and it doesn't want to repeat the same mistake twice.

While other phone manufacturers developing their own foldables are watching Samsung and Huawei intently, a tweet from a tipster (via MSPoweruser) with the handle of Max J. says that Sony is also working on its own foldable device. According to the tweet, prototypes being built by the company are equipped with an LG Display, a camera with a 10x Zoom capability, and a 3220mAh battery. The latter seems a bit on the light side, but again, Sony is working on prototypes at the moment. For example, the mid-range Snapdragon 7250 SoC is being used on the test models although the foldable is expected to sport the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem by the time it is ready to go on sale to consumers. Yes, Sony's foldable will support 5G connectivity.

Sony's foldable will apparently have a retractable roll-out display


Unlike the Galaxy Fold or Mate X, the tweet notes that Sony's foldable will use a Nautilus design. This means that it could use the retractable roll-out form factor similar to what Samsung included in illustrations for a patent it recently received. And back in 2016, Samsung also put a prototype rollable OLED screen on display. The patent mentioned using rails to help a user expand a smartphone display by pulling on both sides of the device. This would turn a smartphone into a tablet. Assuming that there are no setbacks, the tipster notes that Sony's foldable could launch in late December 2019, or early next year.


Any type of retractable rollable phone would have to deal with debris and dust. As Samsung found out with the Galaxy Fold, all it takes is a little piece of foreign material to get sucked in through an opening and there could be problems. One influencer found a bulge on the internal screen of his Galaxy Fold review unit after debris was sucked into the device through an opening in the hinge. Samsung has reportedly reduced the size of that gap to prevent it from happening again.

While Sony has tried a number of things to gain traction in the smartphone industry, the company has failed to break into that top tier of manufacturers. There have been cries over the years from hedge fund investors and others calling for the company to give up. Earlier this year there was talk about Sony halving the head count in its mobile division by next year. At the same time, we could see the manufacturer limit handset sales to Europe and East Asia.

To show that it is starting over from scratch, Sony named its flagship model this year the Xperia 1 and is using a more cinematic friendly 21:9 aspect ratio. That makes the screen thin and wide and those viewing streamed content in landscape mode will notice a superior viewing experience. The 6.5-inch AMOLED display carries a resolution of 1644 x 3840 pixels and provides a whopping 643 ppi pixel density.

Producing a foldable device now would seem strange for a company that is bleeding red ink from its mobile division, but this is a business that Sony really wants to succeed in. As a result, if this leak is legit, the company is pulling out all of the stops to make a mark in the industry.

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11 Comments

1. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I find it very risky for Song to try the foldable phone so soon, before other brands with a lot more brand recognition, sales, profits and R&D funds resolve the issues of this very novel concept. Shouldn't they first try to give to the customers a competitive mainstream device? It sounds like a lot less work to just manage a phone with an in-display fingerprint scanner and a bezelless body, which now every mid-ranger has. Add these two things that are missing to the other improvements that Sony brought to the Xperia 1 and they'll have already a seriously competitive device.

2. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Midranges that will die when one water drop reaches the device. Pop up allows water and dust in. Hole is ridiculous and make you lose part of screen. It is beyond ridiculous to see black spot while you watch a video. They already removed front speaker because tech sites /geeks bezelfobia. Speaker beside usb is awful.

3. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

You don't need to convince me. I'm already a Sony customer. But people won't care about all these reasons. They just see that superficially the Xperia 1 is a $1000 device with less "visible"technology than a $300 Huawei. Sony may have their reasons of doing things but they are pretty terrible with reading market trends.

4. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

What about the things the $950 Xperia has that the $1500 iphone max does not have? People only point what other have but Sony does not, but ignore what Sony has and other lack. Why you need screen FPS that may not work if screen cracks or have burn in if you can use the great sided one.

10. MihaiRO

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 07, 2019

For years I was Ericsson,Sony Ericsson ...Sony fan.This time,I have to admit,Huawei is much better comparing with any kind of Sony phone!Everything,including the design!

11. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Well, it's definitely not better in software. And this is like 50% of the experience.

5. Fred3

Posts: 574; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Phone makers will have mini scrolls soon lol

6. Omega unregistered

As far as i know Sony actually the first company who show us a rollable OLED display back in 2010. I would love to get a phone with Sony OLED display but it seems their OLED still very expensive to produce that's why they only use their own OLED display for professional monitors.

7. joey18

Posts: 673; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

same patent

8. CDexterWard

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

In only a few thousand years, we have finally come around full circle back to the scroll. Papyrus, begone!

9. AlienKiss

Posts: 241; Member since: May 21, 2019

Hey, if Sony is jumping on the foldable phones boat it means that they mean business. I've used Sony phones and I found that they have excellent quality built and durability in battery life. Let's hope this will be a success! I might actually buy one, but only if it's a high-end flagship. I'm not interested in mid-range garbage. I'll let the grannies buy those.

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