Making innovations possible in the lab takes vision and perseverance. As an innovation powerhouse, OPPO has been at the forefront of bringing new innovations into reality. With the OPPO X 2021, a concept phone with a rollable OLED display, OPPO has debuted a bold vision for the future.
The OPPO X 2021 was first showcased at the OPPO INNO DAY 2020 event themed “Leap into the Future” at Shenzhen. At the OPPO INNO DAY 2020, OPPO had showcased its “3+N+X” technology development strategy” focused on “Technology for Mankind, Kindness for the World” and “virtuous innovation”.
Depending on the context of the user needs – say, reading, browsing social networks, gaming, multi-tasking or binge-watching one’s favorite content online, OPPO X 2021 lets users switch between a conventional 6.7 inch smartphone screen and a larger 7.4 inch tablet screen, each giving you a comfortable viewing experience with different aspect ratios.
One simply needs to swipe up on the power button, and see magic happen with an expanding screen. Similarly, a swipe down gesture on the power button makes the screen resize on the go. It is absolutely phenomenal to watch the magic happen – for instance, my kids (the true digital generation) were absolutely mesmerized. More importantly, they found the innovation really useful for reading, gaming and watching content. Absolutely satisfying.
The OPPO X 2021 comes with a two-in-one comb-like structure that effectively supports the display in any form. The two-in-one panel is made of flexible metal, which provides the screen with a rigid structure, and no segment gaps in both smartphone and tablet modes. The rollable OLED display is reinforced by a high-strength screen laminate, which uses very high-strength steel parts as the main material, enabling smooth scrolling, and keeping the display resilient. Two drive motors built into the OPPO X 2021 generate a constant force output that is used to retract and extend the display. According to OPPO, “the device is tested for up to 100,000 retractions and extensions. The OPPO X 2021 can last, on average, for around five-and-half years.” While doing so, OPPO has sought to ensure that the screen resolution on the OPPO X 2021 does not suffer when it is either extended or retracted.
Having had a first-hand experience with the OPPO X 2021 concept phone, I can confirm that the display is solid, really smooth, and most importantly, really comfortable. The crease line on the phone is very faint and barely noticeable, and does not obstruct the viewing experience. Its actually done better than what other OEMs have managed thus far.
While the phone does weigh heavy, it is still comparable to other similarly plus-sized devices. That said, it is comfortable to hold.
The OPPO X 2021 does have an interesting proposition for a first-gen rollable device. The overall value proposition is such that it does make you look beyond the lack of a selfie camera, or the absence of the volume keys. Am sure OPPO would bring those and other features in its next-generation rollable phone, if and when it does makes such a plan.
When compared with foldable displays with fixed sizes, the rollable display on OPPO X 2021 showcases infinite potential, for an array of use cases, extending across productivity, entertainment, and daily multi-tasking.
As far as one can remember, the rectangular handheld touchscreen has long dominated the smartphone design aesthetics. With advances in display technology, smartphone OEMs are constantly seeking to find the answer to what’s next. Over the past two years, Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and LG have showcased new foldable phones.
The OPPO X 2021, though a concept phone, does make an impressive argument for the promise that the future holds. It is an incredible vision to look beyond, what Mobile Guru Ben Wood at CCS Insights succinctly terms as the “smartphone sea of sameness”.