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Daily Authority: 🔮 The future of small phones

We discuss the literal roll-out of small phones, take a look at a popular Oscar winner, and more.
By
March 13, 2023
motorola rizr rollable phone compact front
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

😁 Good day, and welcome back to the Daily Authority. So I have some apple news. I noticed a few lonely fellas in our fruit basket this morning, so I’m considering baking a French apple cake for tea later. Excited! Until then, let’s talk about small phones.

Rollable screens: The small phone savior?

OPPO Rollable Phone Concept unrolled in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

We’ve seen quite a few rollable phones over the years. It was a trend made exciting by LG’s rollable, and Oppo soon jumped on board too. What’s so exciting about the format? Well, Rita argues that rollable screens could be the big break small smartphones have been waiting for.

  • Every manufacturer wants to cram as large a screen as possible into the smallest form factor.
  • This means that truly small modern smartphones are a thing of rarity.
  • However, there seems to be one exciting solution that’s slowly coming into its own: rollable screens.

Why rollable screens make sense

  • The nature of a rollable phone allows for a relatively small form factor.
  • When more screen is needed, the device can expand as required.
  • However, most of the time, you’ll get a compact device.
  • This is no more evident than with the Motorola rizr.
  • The company’s new rollable phone emulates its older, slider phone siblings. But instead of revealing a T9 keypad, the new phone’s screen expands vertically to give you more screen.
  • This increases the display size from five inches to 6.5 inches.
  • Rita notes that this design “completely changes the equation for small phones.”
  • “The first time I saw its display roll up, it felt like magic. It’s been a while since I’ve had this sense of awe with smartphones. And yet it also felt completely rational — why had we not thought of this before?” she notes.
  • While foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 arguably do the same thing, there are two problems with that design: thickness and outer display usability.

So, are rollable phones mainstream now?

  • No, not yet.
  • Rollable phones seemingly solve the issues that small phones possess, but the format isn’t quite figured out yet.
  • Durability remains a major concern, with the motorized roller system and screen being weak points.
  • It’s also unclear how manufacturers would fit a large battery in a device that needs space for the display.
  • Once these problems are solved and the components catch up to the form factor’s requirements, we could see a future laden with small rollables.

Roundup

‼️ Pixel 7a specs appear ahead of possible Google I/O launch: Big upgrades to the camera system and chipset tipped (Android Authority).

🔇 An average router ruined my smart home, especially my Nest speakers: Don’t settle on a weak router to govern your digital domain (Android Authority).

🏠 Speaking of smart homes, here’s how to build the ultimate Amazon Alexa-based system for your house (Android Authority).

🏆 Everything, Everywhere All at Once dominates the Oscars 2023: A complete list of winners and surprise snubs at the link (Variety).

💸 The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has left plenty of firms floundering. Here’s what you need to know (The Verge).

🎶 Everything old is new again: Sales of vinyl albums overtake CDs for the first time since the late ’80s (Ars Technica).

🧐 Here’s one for South Park fans: What has the show been wrong about? (r/askreddit).

Monday meme

Finally, while Everything, Everywhere All at Once and All Quiet on the Western Front cleaned up at the Oscars, one Brendon Fraser got a nod. The Mummy legend won Best Actor for his role in The Whale, and the internet is understandably very, very happy about this.

Remember, you can catch some of Fraser’s iconic films and series on various streaming services, including Hulu and HBO Max.

Have a great day,

Andy Walker, Editor.