At CES 2021, LG was developing a smartphone with a rollable display. However, the model never made it to market because LG shut down its mobile phone division later that year. But today, Engadget reports that a Korean YouTuber, BullsLab, got his hands on a prototype to show us what might have been.
In the breakdown video, BullsLab demonstrates what at first appears to be a regular smartphone. It actually seems narrower than most smartphones on the market today. But, with a three-figured swipe gesture, the phone expands horizontally into a tablet-shaped form factor.
It’s actually mesmerizing to watch because the transformation is so seamless. While the phone is expanding, the screen remains on, and videos and images continue displaying without interruption. There are no jerky motions or pixelation, just a smooth expandable phone.
Engadget reports that if this prototype were to have made it into mass production, the LG Rollable would have shipped with a Snapdragon 888 CPT, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. That put’s this phone on par with flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S21.
Alas, the video is a testament to a thing that could have been but never was. And for the tech-oriented, it’s somewhat heartbreaking to watch because we often see products that are hyped as great innovations but end up being marketing fluff with little to no practical value. And a smartphone that transforms into a tablet seems like a bit of magic that would actually serve a useful purpose.