Daily Authority: 🗞️ LG’s Rollable phone reviewed

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👋 Good morning! We’ve been on a Jean-Claude Van Damme spree lately, watching Hard Target, Bloodsport, and Kickboxer. I’m still not ready to rewatch Street Fighter, though. 

LG’s Rollable phone gets reviewed

LG Rollable Bulls Lab YouTube

LG exited the smartphone business over a year ago, but it reportedly sold unreleased devices to employees. One of these devices was the LG Rollable, which likely would’ve been the first rollable smartphone on the market. Now, Korean YouTube channel Bulls Lab has posted a review, which you can view here.

What could’ve been

  • LG first teased the rollable device at its LG Wing launch event in late 2020, with a follow-up tease at CES 2021.
  • The Wing was the first device in LG’s Explorer Project of innovative phones.
  • The LG Rollable was teased as the second device in this project.
  • However, LG exited the mobile business before the rollable phone could get a commercial launch.
  • As the name implied, the LG Rollable had a screen that rolled out or extended from the main body. 
  • This way, you got a tablet-sized screen when needed. But retract the screen, and you’ve got a normal-looking phone.
  • It was an intriguing alternative to top foldable phones like the Z Fold series.

What’s the LG Rollable like to actually use?

  • Fortunately, Bulls Lab has put the device through its paces in a Korean-language video review.
  • You can extend the 6.8-inch screen to 7.4 inches by swiping the screen laterally from left to right or by tapping an option in the side panel menu.
  • The reviewer also placed a stack of three thick books next to the phone. But the Rollable was able to push them aside when extending the screen.
  • LG does, however, offer a warning if you try to extend the screen while gripping it tightly.
  • As for the screen quality? Well, there seems to be plenty of glare, and you can make out some wrinkles when it’s unfurled.
  • Those who hate creases might not like the LG P-OLED screen, then. But the reviewer felt it was fine for a first-gen product.
  • There are other quirks as well, such as capacitive volume keys, a SIM tray that’s only accessible by unfurling the screen, and secondary rear display functionality.

Where to next?

  • The video is a great look at what could’ve been for LG — at least in the short term.
  • If the foldable market showed us anything, it’s that second and third-generation products make great strides.
  • So it seems likely that issues like display wrinkles and screen durability may have been tackled in follow-up models.
  • Then again, there’s no guarantee we would’ve seen a Rollable 2 if LG’s mobile unit was still around today.
  • Still, the form factor lives on as Oppo demonstrated with the X 2021 rollable concept last year. Our own Dhruv Bhutani spent two days with the device and came away with positive impressions.
  • The fact that Oppo was willing to let users try it outside of controlled conditions suggested that the device was almost ready for prime time. But alas, nothing yet.
  • Samsung is also working on the concept, according to Samsung Display videos and company patents.
  • Here’s hoping one of these companies is brave enough to jump in.

Thursday Thing

EV range anxiety USA Clunker Junker

Car research firm Clunker Junker (h/t: Digg) has posted an interesting study showing the US cities and states where EV charging causes the most stress. The company collected geo-tagged tweets related to EV charging and then used a stress detection tool called TensiStrength to identify posts with signs of range anxiety.

  • It turns out that Montana has the most range anxiety out of all 50 states, according to the study.
  • Kansas, on the other hand, was the state with the least range anxiety.
  • When it comes to cities, the study found that Oakland, California had the most range anxiety.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Virginia Beach, Virginia apparently had the least range anxiety.
  • According to the study, EV charging stress rates for the US states and cities vary between 20% and 30%.
  • So it’s not a huge difference between the top and bottom performers.

Here’s to finding an EV charger!

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