Foldable smartphones are big news in the mobile industry thanks to the likes of Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. But LG is looking to go big or go home with its LG Rollable phone. Also known as LG Project B, it features – naturally enough – a rollable display. It leverages the tech behind the LG Rollable OLED TV to give a whole new twist on folding smartphones – or should we say rolling smartphones?
LG's Explorer Project has already seen the LG Wing made its debut – a unique swivel handset that offer multi-screen functionality without folding – but its new Project B handset with a rollable screen is on another level entirely.
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LG has been working on a rollable display for a while, and we initially heard about its Project B smartphone last November, with its extendable screen, as opposed to flexible, foldable display like the Galaxy Z Fold 2, or Motorola Razr.
At first glance, the handset looks like a standard smartphone, but the frame can be pulled out to both the left and the right to double the screen real estate. This is achieved thanks to an inner, flexible frame that slides out of the device's metal housing.
The design has some advantage over foldable phones on the market now, with the biggest one being the absence of a hinge or crease; a panel with a fold in it will see the crease put under strain, potentially affecting the structural integrity of the display.
What's more, the rollable can adapt to how the smartphone is being used – in much the same way as the LG Wing. In landscape mode, for example, expanding the screen while playing a video or streaming music could reveal the controls so that your viewing remains uninterrupted. There's also the option of multitasking with a split-screen mode.
LG is reportedly skipping straight over the foldable trend, and is looking to launch its rollable smartphone in March, 2021 according to Neowin. It's possible that the handset will only be extendable on one side, as opposed to both as depicted in the patent, but it's a radical concept and we're intrigued to see a company bucking the foldable trend to try something new.