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LG teases an experimental smartphone with an extendable display

You might get a larger screen when you need it, and a smaller phone when you don't.

Published onSeptember 14, 2020

  • LG has teased a second Explorer Project phone, this time with an extendable display.
  • The pull-out chin could give you a large screen whenever you need it.
  • There’s no mention of when it might appear.

LG didn’t waste any time posting a teaser for its next Explorer Project phone after unveiling the Wing. The electronics giant finished its Wing streaming event (via CNET) with a brief but eye-opening clip showing its next experimental device, and its focus appears to be on an extendable display.

The phone appears to center around a single display with a pull-out chin. If that’s the case, it would be highly adaptable. You could have a large screen whenever you need it, but keep the phone small for one-handed use.

There are no other details for the extendable phone, and LG made clear in the teaser that you shouldn’t expect any. It wrapped the sneak peek with “hold your breath.” Don’t be surprised if you have to wait until 2021 or later to see more.

See also: The best foldable phones

It wouldn’t be shocking if the screen used technology from LG’s rollable TVs, though. That uses a flexible OLED screen that hides in the base of the set when you aren’t using it. The challenge, as you might guess, is scale. The current-generation RX is a 65-inch set with plenty of room. If LG is using similar tech in the extendable phone from its teaser, it will have to fit inside a space just a few inches wide.

Such a design would be in keeping with the Explorer Project, at least. The Wing and future devices represent LG’s return to more adventurous phones like the curved-screen G Flex series and modular G5. The company is taking chances to see if it can find a breakthrough form factor before anyone else.

The difference, of course, is that LG is setting more realistic expectations — these are niche phones that aren’t meant to replace mainstream flagships like the V60.  While the company would certainly like you to buy a phone with an extending screen, it shouldn’t run into trouble if you stick to tried-and-true designs instead.

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