OPPO has just shown off its first, and the world’s first rollable smartphone. The company did that during the OPPO INNO Day 2020 press conference. The name of this device is OPPO X 2021, and it’s worth noting this is a concept smartphone.
At this point in time, we’re not sure if this device will go on sale or not. OPPO simply decided to show off the technology to the world, before even LG got to. As a side note, LG is expected to announce its rollable smartphone in H1 2021. LG’s phone will likely go on sale, though.
The OPPO X 2021 is the company's first rollable smartphone with expandable display
In any case, the OPPO X 2021 is an interesting phone, that’s for sure. It looks like a regular smartphone, pretty much, but its display expands horizontally. It comes with a 6.7-inch OLED display which can expand to a 7.4-inch panel.
The device uses a comb-like internal structure, says OPPO. This is supposed to keep “consistent strength, whatever the shape”. It’s an interesting and effective solution, or at least it sounds like it.
A motor is included on the inside, or as OPPO refers to it a “roll motor powertrain”. OPPO also included something called “Warp Track”, which is a high-strength screen laminate.
That is basically everything OPPO shared about the device thus far. We didn’t get to see it live, in use, only some renders and sketches, unfortunately. OPPO will hopefully manufacture these and at the very least hand them out to outlets as concept phones.
We don't know when OPPO is planning to manufacture and sell rollable devices
It is clear that the company is planning to manufacture rollable devices and allow users to purchase them, but we’re not sure when will that happen exactly. OPPO did not share any such information thus far.
LG, on the other hand, is planning to announce its rollable smartphone in the first half of next year. Judging by the info we have thus far, the company is planning to sell that device. It will be announced as part of the company's Explorer Program, the same as the LG Wing. Rollable phones seem to be getting ready to take on foldable ones, and that’s a fight worth watching.
UPDATE: It turns out OPPO did bring some working units of this device to the event. Quite a few images and videos have turned up online showing the device, and one of them comes directly from OPPO, shown below. Below that video, you'll be able to see a gallery filled with images, which come from Weibo.