YouTube channel shows the canceled LG Rollable phone could have been a foldable rival


Posts: 8,309   +103
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In context: One of the most disappointing aspects of LG's exit from the smartphone business last year was that we wouldn't get to see its rollable phone. Now, a South Korean YouTube channel has got its hands on the device, showing that it really could have been a rival to Samsung's foldable series.

LG confirmed it would close its mobile unit in April 2021. The announcement came as little surprise, given that it had been losing money for six years, totalling around $4.5 billion, and its market share had fallen to just 2%.

The decision meant that the rollable phone LG had teased in September 2020 and shown off at last year's CES would no longer launch in 2021.

LG is said to have sold some of the devices to its employees, which is likely how Korean tech reviewer 뻘"-구소 (BullsLab) got hold of one.

The phone is simply called 'Rollable.' The highlight feature is activated by swiping from left to right on the screen with three fingers (or tapping an icon), causing the POLED display to slowly expand from 6.8-inches to 7.4 inches. As it moves, the apps and even the animated background alter to match the new screen ratio. The whole process is very impressive.

Like the Galaxy Z Fold series, many apps' UIs adjust to match the different screen sizes, but one advantage LG's handheld has over the Z Fold is that there's no middle crease, though the reviewer notes there are some visible imperfections on the screen when viewed under direct light.

Check out 'To Fold or Not to Fold: Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4?'

The Rollable's motor appears very strong. The reviewer show it pushing around 2 kgs (4.4 pounds) of books.

Additionally, because the screen wraps around the rear of the phone, the back panel can act as an extra display. Like the Z Fold 4, this allows the more advanced primary cameras to be used for selfies.

The Rollable would have featured 2021 flagship specs such as the Snapdragon 888 SoC, up to 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It was also set to have a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 64MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide snapper, along with a 4500mAh battery.

The LG Wing

LG was known for its unconventional phones. There was the modular G5, the dual-screen LG G8X, the flexible LG G Flex 2, and the futuristic LG Wing 5G. The Rollable looked very promising, so it's a shame we won't get to see it, though another company—perhaps Oppo, which showed off a prototype last year—could introduce a similar rollable handset.

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Posts: 98   +182
LG was my favorite manufacturer by far. They were truly innovative. I loved my G3, which had incredible specs for the time. It also let me install a ZeroLemon 9000 mAh battery (yes, 9000!) which tripled my battery life from 1 full day to 3 full days and made my phone durable af.

I upgraded to a G5, which had a very easily swappable battery. This actually potentially saved my life when I was in a car crash and my first battery went dead. I swapped to my spare and was able to call emergency services--who told me "lol sucks for you it's a blizzard we're not helping"--but fortunately I was able to use my phone to provide my exact location to my dad. We were able to use the map to find shelter through the -30F blizzard: a local Subway of all things. The guy gave me a free cookie for the trouble. Good thing we went to shelter when we did, because 5 minutes later a semi rolled down the hill on top of where we were.
Anyway, I have a lot of fond memories for LG phones. Rollables will probably succeed foldables IMO. I say this as someone who has a Fold3 and loves it.


Posts: 3,368   +3,029
I'd rather have that, than the FOLD. Less "damage" to the screen rolling it out than flexing it all the time.
You can bet some company will knock off something like this.
Huawei, Oppo, Xiamoi, ZTE etc. Probably already have the plans from LG. <wink>


Posts: 15   +31
I definitely want this over a folding screen. Not sure I like that there is a motor moving the screen out though. Would need to test reliability of something like that before considering it.