Have you bought a foldable phone yet? Although foldables are the latest in smartphone tech, manufacturers are always looking for the next big technology leap. At MWC 2023, Motorola demoed a rollable concept smartphone that expands as you use it.
Yes, a rollable, flexible smartphone with an integrated mechanism to expand the screen as you're using it, giving extra screen real estate when you need it.
Motorola Reveals Futuristic Rollable Smartphone at MWC 2023
Now, despite what the header above says, this tech isn't entirely new. Motorola gave a sneak preview of its rollable smartphone in 2022, illustrating what a rollable smartphone screen might look like and how its mechanics might work, and flexible screens have been in development for years.
Now, a year later, Motorola is confident enough to let journalists get hands-on with the rollable phone, which is part of the Motorola Rizr product line.
It's a little wild, the rollable Motorola. In your hand, it appears to be a regular smartphone, standing at around five inches tall—which actually places it as a smaller smartphone versus the six-inch models that are now the norm.
But if you double-tap the power button on the side of the device, the motorized mechanism extends the Motorola's screen size to 6.5 inches, seamlessly extending upwards to reveal more content and screen space. If you double-tap the power button again, the screen retracts smoothly back into place in a couple of seconds.
Are Rollable Displays the Next Big Thing in Smartphone Tech?
Motorola's rollable smartphone is still just a concept, but the company has a solid grasp on what it wants to achieve with the rollable screen.
For instance, although this is only a prototype, Motorola has already developed screen configuration settings for different uses, with the screen automatically extending or retracting depending on the app you're using, all built into the Android operating system.
But the most prominent question to answer is durability. The early days of the foldable smartphone aren't so long past, and many early adopters will remember the issues with screen creasing, quality, breakages, and more. Given the strain on a rollable smartphone screen, durability testing must continue for a prolonged period, and durability remains one of the reasons foldable phones still aren't mainstream.
Rollable Smartphones Aren't Quite Ready Yet
Although Motorola's rollable smartphone prototype works well, it isn't ready for general release yet. But it won't be long until we see rollable tech similar to Motorola's design in general release.
The biggest question will be, as with foldable smartphones... who needs this?