What you need to know
- Motorola is reportedly working on a rollable smartphone.
- The smartphone will extend vertically instead of horizontally like other rollable prototypes we've seen.
- The phone is apparently very early in development and at least a year from launch.
Motorola may have skipped out on foldables last year, but rumors are heating up for the Razr successor. Meanwhile, the company is reportedly working on another device that will take things a step further with a unique rollable form factor.
The news comes from Evan Blass, who says that a new rollable phone, codenamed "Felix," is currently in development. This would be Motorola's debut rollable smartphone, and based on the rumor, it could feature a unique design to set itself apart from other rollable concepts and prototypes we've seen over the past couple of years.
While the concept OPPO X 2021 and now-defunct LG Rollable both feature displays that extend horizontally, Felix will apparently extend vertically, making the display taller, not wider. According to Blass, roughly one-third of the display will wrap around the bottom of the phone, likely to allow a more compact design to extend to a standard-sized smartphone.
To get an idea of what this might look like, TCL showed off a similar concept smartphone at CES 2021, which looked quite promising.
This design would definitely fit with Motorola's current take on foldable phones. The company helped kick off clamshell foldables at a time when many of the best foldable phones were aiming for larger, tablet-like displays. By contrast, Motorola has focused on making its phones more pocketable with the Razr 5G and rumored Razr 3, so a display that extends vertically could fit the bill.
However, the device is apparently very early in development. So early that Motorola did not have a hardware prototype to test the software for this kind of display, so it had to use a modified Edge 30 Pro. Blass says that the device is at least a year away from retail, so it could arrive in late 2023 or sometime in 2024, if at all.
Of course, with the device this early in development, things could very well change between now and its launch. Rollable phones have yet to reach consumers, but we're likely to see the first batch arrive as early as next year. Several companies have already been spotted working on them, including Samsung, which has shown off its own concepts.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.