This is what Samsung's next foldable phone could look like - and it rolls

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 (Image credit: Future)

We've seen the Samsung Galaxy Fold (and Z Fold 2), a phone which folds out to become a tablet; we've seen the Galaxy Z Flip, a 'clamshell' phone which folds down in half to become more portable, and now we may know what Samsung's next foldable phone might look like - and it rolls.

This comes from a patent published recently by the US Patents and Trademark Office, and discovered by Patently Apple.

It's worth pointing out that a patent doesn't confirm the company is working on such a phone, but as this one was published alongside similar patents for the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Fold 2, it seems possible that this phone could be real.

Well, this patent isn't for a finished phone like the other devices, but instead for a foldable technology - rollable displays. The patent shows a screen which rolls up into a rectangular block, that you can pull out when you want to use the device. It's best compared to pull-down projector screens.

There's not much of the actual rollable-screen phone on display here, so even if this phone does exist it's likely a few years out. But such a technology could give you a huge screen in a relatively small device.

We're going to call this phone the Samsung Galaxy Z Roll for now, not because there's any indication it would be called this, but because it makes sense given the company's naming conventions for folding phones.

Roll with it

(Image credit: Samsung / Patently Mobile)

Rollable screen technology might seem weird, futuristic, and a bit silly, but this isn't the first we've heard of it.

LG is working hard on rollable TVs, and one might launch by the end of 2020, though possibly with an astronomical price tag. The company is also working on 'stretchable' displays for its smartphones.

So it seems rollable displays could become big in the TV world, and maybe we'll see the tech come to smartphones too. It makes sense - there's arguably more of a use case for phones which roll up to take up less space than for TVs.

We'll have to see what the future brings to know how rollable displays work, whether Samsung uses them, and what the company's next foldable phone is like. We'll bring you all the latest news on that front when we get it, so stay tuned to TechRadar for that.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.