At CES 2021, foldable and foldable phones give us something to look forward to

At CES 2021, foldable and foldable phones give us something to look forward to

Rollables represent the next evolution of smartphones.

Screenshot by Sarah Teo / CNET

This story is part of theseOur editors will bring you the latest news and latest tools in the fully virtual CES 2021.

Maybe it was just a glimpse of LG then CES 2021 Press ConferenceBut this smartphone excites with the display hints at the return of mobile devices looking to change the traditional metal and glass plate. Although a handful of new foldable phones will be introduced in 2020 – most notably Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phone And the Z fold 2, In addition to the wider version of Motorola RazrFew people were in the mood to spend up to $ 2,000 in the midst of it Global pandemic.

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At CES, phone screens are thrown into table size


It’s 2021, well, little has changed. However, the hope is that a The rapid spread of the COVID-19 vaccine – Still big if at this point – it might bring some normality into our lives, plus a renewed appetite and appreciation for more creative and dynamic phones.

Because we face it, we can all use something to get us excited again.

LG did its best with excitement during the first day of CES. It has been A second brief lookThis time, introduce the device’s name, LG Rollable, on the nose. Oddly enough, LG executives didn’t even mention this during the press conference – glimpses of phones were seen in quick promotional reels that started and the event ended – but It is real and it will come this year.

TCL, which has showcased several foldable prototypes over the past two years and any of them It sparked more rollable concepts On Monday, it will finally release a consumer foldable phone this year, according to Stephan Strait, the company’s general manager of marketing. The most notable aspect is its $ 1000 target. This is in line with Comment from Samsung Last month around the most affordable folds.

These foldable and rollable phones aren’t just gimmicks aimed at making some noise. These new experimental designs help propel the industry forward when it comes to how mobile devices should look and function in the coming years. Just like the iPhone that caused cell phones to evolve from foldable and candy bar designs to sleek metal and glass panels, the folds may bring a change in how we interact with our phones down the line. The lower prices mean these phones are somewhat more accessible.

“Creating the form factor is definitely an advantage,” Ronan Dunn, chief consumer business for Verizon, said in an interview on Tuesday. He did not comment on the LG Rollable but noted that he was “very impressed” with some of the innovations that come in line.

But could this excitement match that initial burst of energy? Turn the clock back two years to 2019 and the folding hype was at its height. Samsung got things started by taking an early look at the Galaxy Fold, Followed by a few days later Huawei Mate X. Motorola crowned the year with Razer. Things were supposed to get more and more popular in 2020, with more foldable devices coming.

We all know what happened next.

But early activity at CES suggests that we may be waiting for more breakthroughs this year.

A twist from foldable

The LG Rollable screen is back LG OLED R signature, The foldable TV that has been a highlight of the last few CES LG conferences. Using flexible screens in a large 65-inch TV is impressive, but squeezing this technology into a mobile phone is another challenge.

“I can’t help but marvel at the technological innovation that is entering this area,” said Ramon Lamas, analyst at IDC. “It says a lot about the display technology and its resolution that can be incorporated into this flexible form factor.”

While LG has provided little information about the phone, the disclosure of the device’s name indicates that it is ready to go ahead with the product. The Rollable will represent another drastic design change even on the foldable phone and it shows that the industry still has some new tricks up its sleeve.

LG isn’t the only one thinking of foldable materials. TCL business also introduced Show two concepts that are rollableOne is a smaller phone with a screen that extends up to 6.7 inches while in portrait mode and the other with a 17-inch screen that opens at both ends like a treasure map.


This tablet with distant concepts looks like a treasure map spread out from both sides.

Screenshot by Sarah Teo / CNET

TCL isn’t even close to launching a foldable phone. Strait said in a pre-show interview that the company is still working on refining the mechanics of its prototype.

Samsung reportedly has its foldable prototype as well, according to And news (Across Tom’s Guide), And Oppo introduced a rollable concept called Oppo X 2021.

Despite the pandemic, LG didn’t stop testing last year, when it was released in the fall LG suite, A single phone with one screen stacked on top of another, capable of rotating into landscape mode, essentially creating a T-shaped screen. Unusual as it sounds, CNET editor Lynn La said it really helped with multitasking and video recording.

Even if it isn’t a huge hit, it is pushing the industry in a different direction.

Make foldable devices easier

After years of exciting wild prototypes, TCL is finally ready to join the foldable game. While the company has been silent about the foldable devices while on display at CES, Strait said the company plans to release one this year at the $ 1,000 price point.

“We’re 100% convinced that this allows us to be very annoying,” Street said in an interview before CES.

As a result, Strait said, the first folding will use a more traditional design than the wildest concepts we’ve already seen. This points to a design like a foldable phone that we have seen from Samsung and Motorola. These types of devices come at a lower price than large phones with foldable screens like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or the Huawei Mate X.

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TCL is showing a new rollable phone and scrollable screen …


In a similar way, Samsung has been hinting at more foldable devices In 2021.

“The Z Fold2 has been lauded as a smartphone that reimagines what is possible with mobile technology and I’m excited to say, it’s just a hint of what’s to come as we continue to explore this class-changing, developing and expanding space,” TM Roh, head of Samsung’s mobile communications, said. In a blog post.

This is in line with ET News Report Samsung has four folds coming this year, including two variants for the Flip and Fold lineup.

The upcoming expansion of foldable phones indicates that this will not be just a masterpiece or a game of one percent, and we may all be able to sample what phones are heading to over the next few years.

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