If there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from LG at CES, it’s at least one wild display that seems to bend—sometimes literally—the rules of physics. There was the transparent OLED TV in 2019, the massive OLED “Wave Wall” last year, and the LG Signature OLED R rollable TV that actually hit the market late 2020.
This year, the company is taking their big ideas and applying them to the small screen, in the form of the LG Rollable smartphone. As the model name suggests, the Rollable’s headline feature is an OLED display that unrolls from the phone’s body. While we’ve seen bendable smartphones from other brands, and the wild two-screen Wing 5G smartphone from LG, this will be the first model from them that utilizes their flexible OLED technology.
While the name probably conjures images of a phone that packs into a tube the size of a cigar, the reality is a little less exciting. The LG Rollable has, at first glance, the typical slate smartphone design, with no clear indications that it hides any technological secrets. But once activated, the screen slowly expands, adding what appears to be an additional 60% more screen real estate. Fully extended, the LG Rollable ends up with the form factor of a mini tablet, not unlike the end result of an unfolded Galaxy phone. Here’s a quick clip of it in action:
Beyond this sneak peek of the LG Rollable, details on the new smartphone are sparse. Now, there are more questions than answers. How will this compare to other LG smartphones—will this be the brand’s flagship? How resistant to scratches will the rollable OLED screen be? Will the LG Rollable have any weather proofing? The equally-weird LG Wing managed an IP54 rating, even with its swiveling form factor. Will it be possible to add any sort of protective case to the Rollable? Foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z-Flip can be protected with a covering on each half of the phone, but that concept wouldn’t work here. And, of course, how much will the LG Rollable cost? Hopefully we’ll learn the answers to these questions as we get closer to the the Rollable’s release date, which is rumored to be sometime this spring.