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Huawei's rollable phone ambitions are far from dead, new patent reveals

HUAWEI is still dreaming up intriguing concept phones, and this latest patent could be one of them.

Published onAugust 6, 2021

HUAWEI Mate X2 vs HUAWEI Mate Xs camera closeup 1
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
  • A detailed HUAWEI rollable phone patent has emerged.
  • The patent details a smart way of unfurling a rollable phone’s display and keeping it crease-free.
  • A patent revealing HUAWEI’s rollable phone plans first came to light last year.

A handful of companies are officially working on rollable phones. Now that LG has canned its promising device, OPPO is arguably leading the segment. But it could face some steep competition from Huawei. According to a new patent, the company is working on a rollable phone with some nifty features.

Spotted by LetsGoDigital, the patent was filed in January 2021 but was published this month. While it showcases similar designs first spotted in an April 2020 patent, it includes a host of new concepts.

Huawei’s rollable phone will apparently wrap a large plastic OLED screen around its front that covers about four-fifths of its rear, too. The portion at the rear not occupied by the display should pack enough space for a camera array.

The real interest lies in the rollable system itself, though. The screen is pulled taut around the phone’s edge. When the user wants more display, it slides around from the rear along a motorized roller system. Interestingly, HUAWEI’s chief goal is to mitigate creases, and it accomplishes this by placing magnets within the roller mechanism. This should also lock the screen in place.

There are three display size settings available, too. The HUAWEI rollable phone houses a 6.5-inch display in its standard form but extends to 11-inches with the entire display rolled out. Carrying a large tablet around in a device that’s barely the size of a normal smartphone is an exciting prospect.

Is HUAWEI launching a rollable phone?

We haven’t yet seen a rollable phone hit the mass market just yet, but they make for intriguing alternatives to foldables. Again, the OPPO X 2021 concept is the closest thing to a consumer-ready rollable we have, but it still has its flaws.

Granted, there may be issues surrounding durability and practicality, but it’s a nifty way of adding tablet-like functionality into a smartphone shell. However, HUAWEI has done just that to some degree with its foldable Mate X series.

Considering that HUAWEI is still working on plans from last year, it’s likely that the company hasn’t canned its rollable phone ambitions just yet. While foldables remain its immediate focus, this could change in the future.

But what do you think of HUAWEI’s rollable phone patent? Let us know in the comments below.

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