You've heard of flip phones. You've heard of foldable phones. But have you ever heard of rollable phones? Smartphone manufacturer Oppo is here to stretch your imagination with a brand new concept designed to offer a big-screen experience in a portable package – no hinge required.
While it might sound like cross between a phone and a skateboard (something we'd love to see), the company's 'rollable' tech in fact sees the display of the Oppo X 2021 stretch from 6.7-inches to 7.4-inches at the touch of button. And if we're honest, it looks like magic. Could the X 2021 be rolling into our best camera phones list next year?
Revealed during Oppo's INNO Day (opens in new tab) conference this week, the X 2021 uses dual motors to unfurl the screen, a little like unrolling a poster (remember those? Check out our best print ads for our favourite examples). A few tech enthusiasts were treated to a hands-on demo during the event – and we still can't quite believe there isn't any CGI involved in the gifs below.
pic.twitter.com/rhoApUh05qNovember 17, 2020
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the 'stretching' process is how the UI itself enlarges in real time, adding to the effect of the phone literally growing in the user's hand. Oppo says (opens in new tab) the display features what it calls 'Warp Track' laminate, raising the overall durability of the screen with high-strength rolled steel.
While several phone companies are exploring the concept of foldable phones, from Samsung's ill-fated Galaxy Fold to Apple's intriguing foldable screen patents, Oppo's invention is a truly novel approach to the idea of an expanding screen. The benefits could be huge for creatives, offering the ability to literally unroll a larger digital canvas when required. It might be a bit of a stretch to suggest rollables will replace foldables, but we're intrigued to see whether any other manufacturers decide to follow Oppo's lead.
The X 2021 (or as we'd have named it, The Incredible Stretching Phone) isn't the only ambitious invention from Oppo in 2021. Back in July it revealed its own ludicrously fast charging tech, capable of fully charging your phone in 20 minutes. And with transparent TVs and crawling chargers also touted this year, who knows what's next in the world of tech?
Alas, with no official release date yet, it could be a while until you're able to get your hands on Oppo's rollable phone. But if you want the latest and greatest phone tech available now, Apple's iPhone 12 range is packed with incredible camera tech. You'll find all the best deals on our Apple Black Friday page, while our wider Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals page is here for all your tech needs and beyond.