This is not a new idea, of course, and it has been floating around the rumor mill for a couple of years now (with concept devices even being made some time back by multiple manufacturers). But it is the first time we've been given a timescale for when we might see it included on a Galaxy phone.
Most recently, Samsung Display aired plans for a ‘Rollable Flex’ device (back in May), showing off a prototype model that basically rolls up like a scroll (around an ‘O-shaped axis,’ or a tube to you and me).
Samsung plans to start mass-producing rollable smartphones in 2025Improved UPCEquipped with zero bezel pic.twitter.com/Th4e83vkq3August 24, 2023
Sam Mobile spotted that leaker Revegnus posted on X (formerly Twitter) to claim that some kind of Galaxy rollable is inbound for 2025.
Crucially, this would not just be some kind of concept idea, but a real mass-produced rollable smartphone appearing just two years from now – in theory. As ever, be cautious around any leak.
The purported Galaxy rollable will feature an OLED screen with ‘zero’ bezel, and an improved design for a UPC or Under Panel Camera. This means the camera nestles under the display, saving the need to waste screen space to fit it in. That’s obviously a somewhat tricky feat to pull off, with Samsung seemingly having cracked how to do this.
Analysis: Roll up, roll up…
The potential benefit of a rollable phone is that it could be more robust, and less prone to damage to the display, than a foldable phone (where the screen is under more stress at the point of the fold, of course). The flipside is the motor mechanism of a rollable could be a potential point of failure.
Furthermore, this concept offers the scope for a bigger screen than a foldable – a Galaxy rollable could unfurl to have a truly expansive display. Indeed, one potential route for Samsung might be to have a phone-sized screen when rolled up, and a tablet when rollout out (the ‘Rollable Flex’ display we mentioned before expands to a 12.4-inch tablet, in fact). You’d have a 2-in-1 phone and tablet, kind of (and a second screen for your desktop PC, even, to boot).
At any rate, for there to be talk of mass production in just a couple of years’ time is exciting, given that all we’ve seen thus far in the world of rollables is concept ideas and prototypes which ultimately aren’t of that much relevance to the average consumer.
Naturally, this doesn’t mean Samsung is abandoning the idea of foldables – these form-factors are set to continue going forward. If a rollable is coming in 2025, it’ll be accompanied by the best foldable phones, no doubt. One of the sticking points of the rollable is that it’s likely to be seriously expensive, especially in that initial incarnation when the tech is still very hot off the press.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).