The evolution of the smartphone display is a very interesting one. First we had smartphones that came with flat screens (and this design is still soft). Then came the era of the popularity of curved screens – especially in flagship Android smartphones. Then it came to folding screens, which, as you know, are not as good as they used to be. What could be the next big step in the development of mobile display technology? Are Rolling Screens Really Trending? In this article, we will address exactly this issue.
But first, let’s talk about the latest developments in this area and see what potential impact these developments will have on rolling screens in the future.
Exciting era waiting for the mobile market?
Has the smart phone market become more exciting than ever, or have new achievements failed to delight you? For those readers who are not very keen on rolling screens, this is probably due to the extremely small number of devices that have benefited from this design and launched it.
But no matter what you and I think, there is no denying that rolling screens have come to stay. For many people, rolling screens are just another natural step in the ongoing evolution of display technologies. Others believe that it is very easy to see the evolution of folding screens, as seen in the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and similar devices.
What are the advantages of rolling screens over folding screens?
If we were to assume that rolling screens would perform quite similarly to folding screens in terms of strength, resolution, pixel density, and brightness levels, there would be only one major advantage over folding screens: space. Using the rolling screen can save a lot of space occupied by the device, not to mention that the device in your pocket will be lighter.
If you look at the Royole Flexpai phone pictured above, you’ll find that you have to pay a hefty price to use a larger display. When you fold the device in half, what you get is a very large device that looks a lot like a tablet or phablet and looks more like a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop. Although other manufacturers such as Samsung have been able to achieve much better folding designs, the fact that when you put a folding device in your pocket, you will essentially need space equal to the diameter of two mobile phones can not be ignored.
It becomes easier and more obvious that when you fold the device, the diameter doubles! This problem will not exist with rolling devices, and when you pipe the display, the overall dimensions of the device will be significantly reduced. Another big problem with clamshell phones these days is that the whole folding mechanism puts a lot of stress on the old panel. This is where rolling panels shine, because they do not get so much stress. Final result? You can expect much higher resistance of future roll-up smartphones than clamshell phones. And yes, there will be no more grooves on the panel.
This is another point of praise for rolling screens: Depending on the design of the device, it is also possible to adjust the dimensions of the device to your liking. A clamshell smartphone is limited to only two forms of factors: folded and unfolded, and so we are limited to two sizes and two resolutions. There is no such limitation in a rolling screen, and you can change the dimensions as much as you feel comfortable.
Another advantage is the freedom of trial and error with the location of the camera. Folding phones are very limited in this regard, as the form factor and the number of hinges can sometimes affect the location of the camera. If additional camera sensors are to be installed on the body, manufacturers must have been looking for a solution for a long time.
Of course, this does not mean that clamshell smartphones are basically very limited and nonsensical devices. A clamshell phone brings its own advantages, and as a result a new classification of devices (assuming roll-out smartphones are considered as such) can give consumers alternative choices to enjoy new and innovative devices. .
And not everything is perfect for rolling screens. This technology is still in its infancy, and sophisticated design naturally leads to very high pricing. Therefore, mobile phones will not be available to the public for a very long time. In addition, protective glass can not be used in rolling screens and plastic alternatives must be sought. This means that mobile phones will be less powerful overall, and the screen itself will be more prone to scratches and scratches.
What rolling devices are currently being developed?
Rolling screens now seem to be following in the footsteps of clamshell phones – in other words, they are not yet ready to reach people. At first we saw a lot of speculation, patents, revelations and conceptual designs. It has been rumored from time to time that a company working on such a device will unveil a prototype of its product during an important event or the end of a keynote speech, and reporters can watch it behind closed doors.
The same thing can be expected with a “roll-up” display, and some of the most prominent mobile phone companies sometimes talk about these devices. In addition, there are sometimes a few rands and patents. But in this article we want to get rid of all the “noise” and share all the information we have gained about future devices.
The important point is that it can now be said with certainty that only LG has planned to launch such a smartphone to the consumer electronics market in 2021. The other manufacturers we’ll talk about in the rest of this article are still at their best in the concept phase, far removed from the mass production of their devices.
Over the last few seasons at CES Las Vegas, rumors of the LG Rollable have been heard over and over again, and each time we waited for LG to show the potential of such devices to the world of consumer electronics. This is a device that can not be ignored in any way. Over the past year, we have heard rumors that LG has begun the development of such a device, and the Korean company was also the first manufacturer to launch a TV equipped with this technology.
When it comes to developing completely original form factor invoices and displays, this company appears to be an innovative and active Korea. It was only recently that LG surprised the world with the unveiling of the awesome LG Wing mobile phone.
At the recent CES we were able to see the LG Rollable in the official video, but we could not tell if we were dealing with a concept device or a real product coming in the near future. Just a day later, LG spokesman Ken Hong responded to the rumors, saying that we were facing a real product and that the LG Rollable would arrive in late 2021.
Unfortunately, the company was reluctant to share more details about its technology, so we do not know exactly how the LG Rollable works and how it resizes. On the other hand, the hardware specifications of the device also remain unclear. We only know this: LG is looking to partner with BOE, a Chinese giant, in launching this mobile phone.
TCL was probably the first company to make news about its roll-out smartphone business. Last March, TCL Communication shared some of its flexible display concept designs, one of which was a rolling display.
This 6.75-inch display can be increased in size to 7.8 inches, and everything is done with the help of internal motors at the push of a button.
Although this concept of TCL looks very interesting, we do not know when to expect mass production of a device equipped with this technology. Even if TCL builds and unveils a mobile phone based on this technology, we are not sure that the final product will be as promising as last year’s concept.
By no means can we talk about an interesting technology in the field of displays and not mention Samsung. Although the company kept quiet about its plans for folding screens, it was in fact one of the first manufacturers to try and err on the side of the idea.
Samsung Display recently shared a preview of its upcoming designs on its blog (which, of course, has not been officially confirmed), and in this post we also saw a rolling display, albeit with an invoice form that looks more like an automatic than a smartphone.
This design is just a painting and certainly not something we can expect to see in the real world in the near future. In this design, the entire screen is rolled on an auto-like body, so the first thing that comes to mind is the ease of use of such a device. Also, in this design, the whole screen is displayed on one table, but what will be the task when you want to use the device on hand?
In any case, it would probably be better not to get too caught up in the various dimensions of this design, as we are already a long way from achieving it. It has been rumored in the past that Samsung is coming to launch a rolling smartphone in 2022, but this news should also be viewed with pessimism.
Instead, let’s take a look at another image that was released in early 2020. In that Korean news agency ET News reported that Samsung had put its rolling-edge display technology behind the eyes of some reporters behind closed doors at CES that year. In this way, the Let’s Go Digital website designed a beautiful and three-dimensional rendering of the possible appearance of the device in its final form.
Do you trust the Let Go Digital concept? If yes, we want to show you another possible device whose dimensions change from the size of the smartphone to other tablets at the user’s discretion. This concept model is based on one of Xiaomi’s patents.
The smartphone we see in this design is very similar to the Mi Mix Alpha and the screen is stretched both front and back. Depending on the application used, the back panel can be disabled and the front of the screen can be disassembled to create a tablet size and more display space for content.
Just like the Alpha mobile, Xiaomi will probably miss the selfie camera altogether. In fact, the possibility of using a display on the back means that the main camera can also play the role of a selfie camera, so installing a secondary camera would be completely pointless.
In the image above, you can see that Xiaomi has designed its own mechanism that makes the device’s resistance not disappear even when the screen is out of roll and reaches its maximum dimensions. But in any case, it is not clear whether this device will make its way to the market at all and whether it will be similar to the Let’s Go Digital concept design or not.
Oppo X 2021
The Chinese company Oppo not only has plans to launch a mobile phone with a rolling screen in the future, but also unveiled several concept designs during the Oppo Inno Day event. Of the 122 patents filed by the Chinese company in this field, 12 of them are solely related to the screen rolling mechanism, which makes the 6.7-inch screen of the Oppo X 2021 7.4 inches. We also have a special button on the side of the device, by swiping your finger on it, you will be able to start the internal motors and roll the screen.
However, Oppo is still a long way from the commercial release of this device. At present, the Chinese company is still finding the necessary measures to increase the strength of the device, because like any other manufacturer, Oppo will only be able to use plastic materials instead of glass displays.
In addition, Oppo is still exploring the various dimensions of the issue and whether such a device can be mass-produced in the near future in a way that is economically viable. And certainly Oppo is not the only company with such concerns, and other companies will prioritize cost-effectiveness over anything else.