Samsung Galaxy Roll shows how future phones can be rollable, not foldable

Folding phones are so 2021. The future doesn't fold: it rolls!

Samsung Rollable Flex
(Image credit: Samsung)

There are plenty of Samsungs in our best phones guide, but while the best Samsung phones are very good indeed none of them are really weird. So we're delighted to see that what Samsung does in its labs is often much more out there than we see on the phone shop shelves. Fancy a rollable phone? Because Samsung's made one.

The device was discovered by LetsGoDigital, who found it in an intellectual property filing Samsung lodged this May. It's a phone, but it's no ordinary phone: you can unroll the display to make it longer, to make it wider, or to make it both. To my eyes it looks like a weird Tetris block.

Samsung isn't on a roll... yet

Don't hold your breath waiting for a rollable Samsung phone: this is far future stuff and Samsung is currently more focused on folding phones such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. We were very impressed by the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which comes tantalisingly close to being a great everyday phone, and we think Samsung will concentrate on nailing down folding phones before it starts thinking seriously about rollable ones. But it's a great example of where we might end up in the future, with phones that look like anything but the little obelisks we carry around today.

Carrie Marshall
Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).