#CES2021: LG teases rollable smartphone, its answer to foldables
LG snuck in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it teaser of what's most likely the LG Rollable smartphone in its CES 2021 presentation video. Not surprisingly, the company didn't elaborate on the teaser. The device features a rollable OLED panel that can expand width-wise to assume the tablet form factor. This seems to be LG's response to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and TCL's rollable phone concepts.
LG has evidently shrunk down its rollable TV concept into a phone, by leveraging Android's ability to dynamically scale content as per screen size and orientation. This form-factor does away with secondary displays as seen in Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2. Here, the primary display itself can shrink down to conventional size. Similar concepts were showcased by manufacturers such as TCL, albeit as mock-ups.
It is quite likely that the device will feature LG's specialized rollable OLED panels with higher pixel density compared to the TV version of the same. The rollable smartphone concept offers a cleaner, more seamless alternative to multi-screen devices such as the Galaxy Z Fold. The company didn't have much success with unconventional hardware such as the LG Wing, which is high-tech but impractical.
Although the concept doesn't shrink the phone down to a tube of rolled screen, sensors, and battery yet, it has the potential to give premium tablets a run for their money. However, for all we know, the teaser could have been computer generated in its entirety, since there were no moving elements in the scene besides the camera and video playing on the phone.
It must be noted that the LG Rollable screen has trickled down from the TV to smartphone form-factor, where the size flexibility it offers pays greater dividends. The industry has long tried to come up with ways to combine a phone and tablet into one device, and this could be the solution. The concept, however, leaves questions unanswered from the reliability perspective.