In a different timeline, this could have been one of the most innovative phones of 2021. In this timeline, only a few LG Rollable units were produced, and they were sold to employees as keepsakes. It showed up in some photos and even a short video, but it mostly faded from the public eye. Now a South Korean YouTube channel has made a detailed video showing an intriguing alternative to foldables.
It starts off with the bespoke box, which opens in the same way as the phone’s eponymous rollable display extends to the side. There is a charger and USB cable inside, but that is not what we’re here to see.
The phone itself looks pretty normal in its powered off state, it’s not thick like foldables. It is heavier than most rigid phones, however, tipping the scales at 285g (this is with a 4,500mAh battery inside).
Not as thick as a closed foldable, but the LG Rollable is fairly heavy
The phone’s main innovation is the display – by default, it is a 6.8” P-OLED display with curved sides. However, a swipe gesture causes it to expand horizontally, bringing the diagonal to 7.4” and making the aspect ratio 3:2.
Transitioning from a fairly standard 6.8″ display to a 3:2 7.4″ display
In this mode some apps automatically switch to their tablet interface. This works in YoTube, the settings screen and more. Even the home screen wallpapers are able to seamlessly expand and contract to match the screen.
Apps that support it can show their tablet UIs on the extended screen
The display rolls around the back, avoiding the tight curve needed on foldables. It’s nice and smooth in the closed position, but the extended portion of the screen is not perfectly flat. However, it seems that this is only visible if you angle it just right and won’t be noticeable during normal use. It is pretty soft, though, visibly flexing when touched.
LG Rollable next to a tablet
One interesting detail is the key-less design, similar to the canceled LG Velvet 2 Pro (instead of physical buttons, volume was controlled by pressure-sensitive pads). The SIM tray is in a weird position, which can only be accessed when the phone is unrolled.
The SIM tray is hard to access
The phone is a pretty typical flagship of 2021 with a Snapdragon 888, 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage. The camera setup on the back includes a 64MP wide and 12MP ultra-wide modules.
You may be thinking “how do I take selfies using the main cameras?” Well, there is display on the back, so you can use that. The rest of the time it shows widgets and notifications. And here’s the really cool part – this isn’t a secondary display, but the main display instead! You can see it moving at 8:45. For regular selfies, there is a small camera tucked into the top bezel on the front.
The display wraps around the back, giving you a secondary display for at-a-glance info and main cam selfies
Check out the video below for a closer look at the LG Rollable (note: it’s in Korean and the automatic subtitles are not great).
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