LG has already proven that rollable screens can work with its Signature OLED R rollable TV, and a smartphone with the tech is on the way this year too – simply called the LG Rollable.
The company has only teased the Rollable so far, but one of those teases included footage of the phone in action – so while we don’t know much about internal specs, we do have a good idea what the device will look like and the basics of how it will work.
We also know that LG won’t be messing about when it comes to the name, simply calling the device the LG Rollable. It will be part of the Explorer Project range following the LG Wing, a phone that revolves to reveal a second screen.
When is the LG Rollable release date?
LG first teased the Rollable at the end of the Wing launch event in 2020, and the company confirmed to Nikkei Asia that it will launch the phone some time in 2021.
“Our management wanted to show that it is a real product, as there were many rumors around the rollable phone,” LG spokesman Ken Hong said in the wake of the phone’s CES tease. “As it is released at CES 2021, I can tell that it will be launched this year.”
More specifically, one source predicts that it will launch in March 2021. This is via Korean publication The Elec, which says a different phone under the codename ‘Rainbow’ will arrive first in Q1, with the Rollable to follow in March. Meanwhile another Korean blog says it will arrive ‘after September’.
There’s also the disappointing possibility that despite everything, the Rollable still might not launch at all. LG has told staff that it’s considering folding its smartphone business in 2021, a possibility we discuss on our Fast Charge podcast. It’s not yet clear what impact that might have on the Rollable specifically, but a company spokesperson told The Korea Herald that detailed plans for the launch had not been decided, and that the company was “open to every possibility.”
How much will the LG Rollable cost?
It’s unclear what the price will be for a phone like this considering there are none on the market yet.
You can, however, bet that it will be very expensive. We’ve seen the cost of foldable phones like the Motorola Razr 5G and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 at around £1,300 to £2,000 and a rollable phone could arguably fetch an even higher figure due to the complex nature of the technology.
LG may well be first to market and therefore set the benchmark. GSMArena references a now-deleted tweet claiming it will cost $2,560 in the US.
What are the LG Rollable specs?
This is also unknown at the moment, with LG only giving two brief glimpses of the device so far. The best look came right at the end of the LG CES 2021 stream, when LG released a brief clip of the Rollable…well, rolling:
The brief clip shows a large, square-ish display that rolls down into more typical smartphone dimensions while playing back a video.
There are no specific specs, but it does look like it will be similar to the Oppo X 2021 and TCL rollable concept devices. The Oppo X 2021 has a 6.7in display able to expand up to 7.4in, while the TCL version has a larger panel that expands to 7.8in.
The Oppo X 2021
Oppo says it has applied for 122 patents relating to the handset, with 12 specific to the scroll mechanism, so it will be interesting to see how LG has come at the problem. It helps that the company already has rollable TV tech, but scaling it down to phone size is a whole other matter.
We’ve also got no idea what chipset, camera, or other specs LG will squeeze into the Rollable, but expect them to be fairly high-end, if not absolute top of the line.