Rollable phones vs Foldable phones: So, what does the future hold?


There are two distinct techniques to increasing the amount of screen real estate available to you while using these devices.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide/Let’s Go Digital)

When it comes to foldable phones, we’re still getting acclimated to the concept. A new sort of design seems to be emerging that challenges the best foldable phones for their ability to enhance productivity. Rollable or scrollable phones – imagine smartphones with expandable displays — are apparently under development by a number of phone manufacturers, with new versions expected as early as this year.

Samsung, which currently has foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, may be working on a rollable phone. The Galaxy Z Roll, a revolutionary gadget, would allow you to stretch the phone-sized screen into a tablet-like display by pressing a button. If the speculations are to be believed, the Galaxy Z Roll will be released with the expected Fold and Flip revisions in the second part of the year.


With the imminent introduction of rollable phones, it is inevitable that they will be compared to foldable phones. In what ways are these two design approaches different, and which one will allow you to do more while you’re on the go? When the Galaxy Z Roll, Galaxy Z Fold 4, and Galaxy Z Flip 4 arrive, we won’t have all the answers we need. This comparison of foldable and rollable phones might focus on the similarities and differences between these two forms of huge screen phones.

What’s the difference between foldable and rollable phones?

There is no longer a secret about foldable phones. Folding screens are the main feature of the gadget, although the method of folding that display differs from device to device.

Open up your phone like a book to get to the 7.6-inch display inside of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. A 6.2-inch cover display remains on the Fold’s outside when the screen is folded in half and not in use.


As a flip phone, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a throwback to pre-smartphone era design standards. Flip has a 6.7-inch internal display that can be accessed by opening the lid. When the Flip is folded, a 1.9-inch screen on the outside of the phone displays alerts and serves as a viewfinder for the Flip’s external cameras. Even though it hasn’t been as successful as the Galaxy Z Flip versions, the Motorola Razr operates in much the same manner.

The hinge on both Galaxy foldables is at the heart of the device’s folding and unfolding functionality. Fold and Flip hinges can survive 200,000 openings and closings, according to Samsung. Moreover, in order to extend the lifespan of its foldables, the phone manufacturer has taken precautions to keep dust out of its moving components.

Rather of unfolding like a curtain, rollable or scrollable phones conceal the rolled-up portion of their screens. Some speculations claim that the top of the screen will expand on the upcoming Galaxy Z Roll, although we don’t know for sure how this would function. We may, however, take a peek at LG’s Rollable phone, which was unveiled in 2021 before the electronics giant decided to exit the phone market.


Compared to the size of a typical smartphone, the LG Rollable was smaller. You could, however, expand one side of the screen to provide more display area if you needed it. It was shown at an LG Rollable presentation that a business official held the phone in landscape mode as the top of its display expanded and shrunk at the same time.

Whatever rollable gadget comes up, we’d presume that the basic principles are the same. For the most of the time, you’ll be using a regular-sized smartphone. It is possible to expand the screen in one direction by pressing a button; while not in use, the additional display will be concealed from view.

What are the benefits of a scrolling screen over a foldable or rollable phone?

The purpose of both foldable and rollable phones is the same: to provide users with a larger screen while yet maintaining a portable size for daily use. There has been an increase in the capability of smartphones and the number of features in mobile applications. As we become increasingly mobile, there’s a desire to migrate things that would traditionally be done on a computer to a portable mobile device. However, jobs like editing and painting need a bigger area than the one provided by a typical smartphone display. As a result, there is a push to increase the display size of smartphones while maintaining their portability.


In light of this, the issue arises as to whether one foldable or rollable gadget has an advantage over the other. This newest design has a distinct advantage over folding phones when it comes to rollable phones.

Samsung has improved the screen on succeeding Galaxy Fold models, but one fault has remained constant: the screen folds in half and leaves a noticeable wrinkle when opened all the way. The Galaxy Z Flip does the same thing, except it’s less obvious. When you’ve shelled out $,1799 for a phone, you don’t want a blemish to be in full view every time you open the screen, especially when the display displays a white backdrop.

To hide the wrinkle, certain foldables have done so effectively. Only under certain lighting settings can the crease of the Oppo Find N be seen. However, this phone is now only accessible in China. Rollable gadgets must come up with a new solution to this issue.


What we’ve observed so far with rollables is that if the screen never folds, there is no wrinkle. With the display unrolling outward, a scrollable phone is basically the same thing. We’ll have to see it in action to be sure, but because a rollable screen never completely folds in half like the panel of a Galaxy Z Fold 3, we’d assume there wouldn’t be any creases or divots.

Even when folded, most smartphones are still somewhat large. Galaxy Z Fold 3, for example, is 0.62 inches thick – roughly double the thickness of a regular smartphone. A rollable phone could be able to help with that, but we’ll have to wait till we see one in action to be sure.

Unanswered queries about the rollable phone

We’re eagerly awaiting the debut of a Galaxy Z Roll-like handset to find out exactly how small a rollable phone may be compared to its foldable version. Another question is how long-lasting such a phone will be.


To roll and unroll a scrollable smartphone’s display, there will still be moving elements, like a hinge for folding a screen. It’s on to Samsung, or any other phone manufacturer, to explain how well the expanded screen will hold up, since moving parts deteriorate over time.

(Image credit: Techconfigurations)

When it comes to foldable phones, manufacturers have already found methods to make the most of the additional screen space. Foldable phones allow you to run numerous apps on different portions of the enlarged screen, making multitasking much simpler. Three applications may run simultaneously on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Flex mode is also available on both Galaxy foldables, allowing you to expand the smartphone at a 90-degree angle and transform the bottom half of the display into a control panel.

Rollable phones have yet to show that type of device-specific use case, other from the dreaded screen space. For augmented reality applications, Samsung’s extended display patents hint that the phone’s rollable form factor might include an opaque expanded display. But it’s not obvious how that would operate or even whether such a phone is nearing completion.


When it comes to mobile devices, can you roll or fold your phone?

We’re still in the early days of foldable phones, with just a handful of handsets delivering the type of functionality and cost you’d expect from a smartphone. Rollable phones have even less of a track record. As a result, it will be some time before we learn which gadget is best suited to whatever job. But it will be intriguing to watch what phone manufacturers come up with in the near future.

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