Meet OPPO X 2021, the world’s first-ever rollable smartphone

OPPO X 2021 is a concept phone and unlikely to get a wide commercial release.

Highlights
  • OPPO X 2021 is the world’s first rollable smartphone
  • Its 6.7-inch screen can expand up to 7.3-inches in length
  • The brand claims to have applied for over 100 patents while developing the OPPO X 2021.

OPPO has thrown its hat in the growing market for unique form factors with its newest reveal — the OPPO X 2021. However, instead of the foldable form factor, it brings forth a rollable design that allows the smartphone to stretch into a tablet. In its original state, the OPPO X 2021 has a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel. It expands into a 7.3-inch phablet once unfurled. The OPPO X 2021 achieves this feat by using its in-house motorised mechanism called Roll Motor powertrain. It works by slowly but steadily pushing the screen so that it doesn’t get damaged. Another exciting feature of the smartphone is that you can stop the motor at any time, allowing you to get near-infinite screen size combinations. 

The OPPO X 2021 employs a never-before-seen comb-like mechanism to support the display. Depending on the state of the display, the mechanism adjusts its position to ensure that the screen remains rigid at all times. The smartphone’s frame has two parts, one fixed and one movable. Depending on the display’s position, the latter slides in and out along with the battery panel to protect its innards. These technologies are the reason why the OPPO X 2021’s screen is free from kinks or imperfections regardless of what state it is in. 

OPPO says it has taken special care to ensure that the X 2021’s screen is well-protected. The included Warp Track high-strength screen laminate curves around the edge of the display. It is made of rigid steel, allowing it to hold its own when stressed. With a thickness of only 0.1mm, it should be barely noticeable to the untrained eye but goes a long way towards securing the OPPO X 2021’s structural integrity.

It is unlikely that the OPPO X 2021 will ever see a full-scale commercial release. Concept smartphones seldom do, as they’re mainly used to showcase the technological chops of an OEM. However, we can expect the tech behind the Oppo X 2021 to trickle down into future products by the brand. It may be a while before we see a commercially available rollable smartphone though.