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Oppo makes a splash with the Oppo X 2021 rollable OLED smartphone-tablet hybrid

The Oppo X 2021 is a working concept smartphone featuring a rollable, extendable display. (Image: Oppo)
The Oppo X 2021 is a working concept smartphone featuring a rollable, extendable display. (Image: Oppo)
Oppo has unveiled its Oppo X 2021 rollable OLED display smartphone. The concept device takes a different approach to the smartphone-tablet hybrid foldable OLED designs we have seen from Huawei and Samsung. The end result, however, is similar as it delivers a device that is both a smartphone and tablet in one.

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As expected, Oppo has revealed its first rollable OLED display smartphone. Although only a concept at this stage, Oppo has detailed the complex engineering that makes its rollable display possible and has produced working prototypes to show that it is a fully realized design. The end result is truly stunning and has genuine appeal -- the only question on our minds (and Oppo's) will be whether there is sufficient interest for the company to bring it to market.

When in the regular smartphone form, the Oppo X 2021 display measures 6.7-inches. When the rollable display is extended, this takes the display to a maximum of 7.4-inches while greatly increasing the overall viewing area. It uses a proprietary Roll Motor powertrain with two motors to achieve a balanced and uniform extension to protect the display. The display has been dubbed ‘continuously variable’ by Oppo as users can extend the display as much they like, stopping it any point up to the 7.4-inch limit. 

At no stage during the rolling process in either direction is there any visible folding or kinking of the panel. Oppo has achieved this by using a complex system involving a slider and bearing combination on the display side with a 6.8 mm arc coupled with a system of plates that continually support the display from behind when it is any given position. The underside of the display is also reinforced with high-strength but ultra thin steel laminate. According to Oppo, it has applied for 122 patents in the development of the device.

Other companies are also working on similar devices including Samsung and LG. It was only in the past few days that a senior Samsung exec was spotted with what appeared to be its first rollable display smartphone in the wild. LG is also said to be close to bringing a rollable display smartphone to market under its new Explorer Project branding. While these developments are undoubtedly exciting, our enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by the reality that this level of technology and engineering will not come cheap.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1291 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 11 > Oppo makes a splash with the Oppo X 2021 rollable OLED smartphone-tablet hybrid
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-11-17 (Update: 2020-11-17)