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Cancelled LG Rollable phone explored in hands-on video

The highly ambitious LG Rollable phone that never saw the light of day has been given the full YouTube hands-on video treatment.

After being one of the dominant manufacturers of the early Android scene, LG officially exited the smartphone business last year, dragging a number of promising projects with it.

One of the most interesting projects to be culled was the LG Rollable, which had been flaunted at CES 2021 mere months ahead of LG’s April 5 announcement. The LG Rollable promised to provide a smooth expandable display that revealed a larger, tablet-like screen.

If we were all left with a vague sense of ‘what if’ about the LG Rollable, a new video from South Korean YouTuber Bulls Lab at least fills in some of the details.

It turns out the LG Rollable was a full market-ready product, complete with a fully branded and elaborately engineered retail box.

The device itself looks like a big, curvaceous, highly reflective flagship phone, albeit one with fairly chunky bezels. It’s fronted by a standard-looking 6.8-inch dual-curved POLED display.

The spec list included a Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. There’s a dual camera on the back, with a 64MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide. This is powered by a 4500mAh battery.

Other than a heavier-than-usual 285g body, this all reads like a fairly typical 2020 flagship phone. But the key feature, of course, is that the 6.8-inch POLED display unfurls to a 7.4-inch screen with a squarer, tablet-like form factor.

The LG Rollable has a motorised mechanism that widens the frame of the phone via a a lateral swipe on the screen. Said motor appears to be very strong, and is capable of pushing a stack of books on a flat surface.

In practical use, the YouTube app is shown to boot up with a browsing screen that seems well optimised for the extra width of the screen, while watching videos in landscape looks like a very natural experience.

It’s not perfect. As Android Authority notes, the reviewer highlights that the screen isn’t completely uniform, and that there’s an issue with glare.

Another unique feature is a tall and thin secondary display that occupies two thirds of the rear of the device, showing widgets and other info when the phone is face-down. It can also serve as a viewfinder, providing superior selfies using the main camera.

All in all, it’s a bit of a shame we never got to see the LG Rollable get a commercial release. It seems a far more promising concept than the LG Wing.

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