The advent of flexible OLED screens has let the smartphone industry experiment with some pretty unorthodox form factors. While foldables have slowly been creeping into the mainstream, companies like Oppo have been playing with rollable designs. Following its showcase as a concept last fall, some lucky users are getting an early chance to go hands-on with the Oppo X 2021.
There are a lot of weird phones out there, but I've never seen one quite like this before. Oppo's new concept phone, the Oppo X 2021, might at first appear to be a standard 2020 phone with a 6.7" display. One quick swipe on the side, however, and the screen expands to a more tablet-like 7.4" size. Magic? Almost — it's thanks to a flexible screen and a motorized scroll mechanism.
We've gotten a few sneak peeks over the past couple of weeks of what the Pixel 5 might look like in full. The indications are there to say that Google is completely done with the dual-tone back design. But one should never turn down a venture into an alternative timeline — so it doe looks like with this one picture of what appears to be a Pixel 4a 5G prototype from Vietnam.
Gaming phones are commonplace now that mobile gaming has reached a level of maturity, although most half-decent phones can play modern games to a pretty good standard these days anyway. Rewind back to 2011, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 1 was a unique proposition with its slide-out PlayStation gamepad and stereo speakers. A follow-up was sadly canceled, but it appears as though images of a prototype have surfaced all these years later.
Have you ever looked at a chameleon and thought, "Why can't my smartphone do that?" Vivo apparently has, and is working on a smartphone prototype that can change color using electrochromic glass. This is the same special material OnePlus recently used to hide a smartphone camera. But while OnePlus only covered the camera module in this fancy glass, Vivo has made the entire back panel out of the stuff, showing it off on video earlier this week.
Seeing no clear path to bring its weird GEM concept phone to market, Andy Rubin's Essential abruptly stopped being a company earlier this week. Now, by complete coincidence, a bundle of Essential swag has appeared for sale on eBay — including an unreleased charging dock.
An interview with OnePlus' industrial design team was published to the company's forums earlier today, and though most of it is the sort of self-praise and directed discussion you'd expect to read, one genuinely interesting tidbit was revealed: Two photos of an unreleased OnePlus Concept One prototype. That's right, concept phones also have prototypes, and one of OnePlus' earlier efforts to design a phone in collaboration with McLaren was an all-black design.
Front-facing cameras that are able to see through smartphone display panels were theorized long before we thought it even possible to produce them and some see them as something of a holy grail in the oh-so-noble fight against bezels. Recent teases from Xiaomi and Oppo would lead us to believe the technology could make it into a consumer product sooner rather than later, and now I've had a chance to see what stage it's currently at. It's not ready quite yet, but it shouldn't be too far out now.
Google isn't ready to sell us a foldable phone just yet because it's thinking what a number of people are: there's just no good use for one — at least for now, anyways. But the company stands ready to continue research and develop on concepts as it has publicly admitted to prototyping foldables.