We’ve seen our fair share of renders, concept designs, dummy units, and even prototypes that it sometimes becomes difficult to separate fiction from reality. Some of these concepts don’t even have working versions, leaving some to only dream of the possibilities. To be fair, creating even just a single working prototype can be difficult and expensive, especially when you’re dealing with novel materials and designs. That’s why OPPO showing off the X1 2021 rollable concept phone isn’t just a show of the technology, it’s pretty much proof that it has what it takes to actually make it a reality.
Compared to the likes of Samsung, LG, and TCL, OPPO may not come off as a company that specializes in display panels, more so unconventional ones like folding or rollable screens. It is perhaps better known for its innovations in the mobile imaging sensor space and especially its VOOC fast charging technology but OPPO also revealed that it had a working foldable phone prototype last year. It just didn’t feel it was the right time to show it off, perhaps to its regret.
It isn’t taking any chances this time and before LG or TCL could put out their rumored rollable phones, OPPO showed off its own take. As it explained, this rollable phone extends one edge to stretch out the screen, turning it from a wide phone into a narrow tablet.
It’s still a concept phone but, during its makeshift OPPO INNO DAY 2021 online event, it revealed what looks like a perfectly usable prototype. Sliding one’s finger up or down the side of the phone triggers the rolling mechanism. OPPO is naturally quite proud of that mechanism but only real-world use will be able to rate that. Judging by this demonstration, however, OPPO might actually be ready to put the concept phone into production.
OPPO’s annual INNO DAY was also filled with its other innovations and projects, ranging from AR glasses to the new UWB or Ultra Wideband trend. The company has always shown off its achievements in the mobile space but it still takes a different set of capabilities to actually mass produce these products, let alone successfully market them for profit.