Oppo unveils the X 2021 smartphone with a rollable display and new AR glasses

Celia Chen
·3-min read

Chinese smartphone brand Oppo has announced a new concept phone with a rollable screen on Tuesday. The Oppo X 2021 was part of the company’s Oppo Inno Day event, which used the theme “Leap into the Future” to showcase experimental products.

Oppo said its new handset features three proprietary technologies: the Roll Motor powertrain, 2-in-1 Plate and the Warp Track high-strength screen laminate. The technologies combine to create an OLED display that widens from 6.7 inches to become as large as 7.4 inches. This allows users to adjust the size of the screen as needed, the company said at the two-day event.

Oppo also introduced two augmented reality products. Oppo AR Glass 2021 is a pair of AR glasses that the company says are 75 per cent lighter than the previous generation. Oppo also unveiled CybeReal AR, which is software that helps with real-time special calculation.

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“Oppo uses technology to empower people to capture the beauty around them and to unleash their imagination of the future, thereby helping everyone get the best out of life,” said Oppo founder and CEO Tony Chen. He added that the company is committed to innovation and laid out a technology development strategy for leveraging the company’s strengths in the future.

Oppo is the latest company taking advantage of flexible OLED displays that have recently made things like foldable phones from Samsung, Huawei Technologies and others possible. TCL, a competing device manufacturer in Shenzhen, introduced its own smartphone prototype in March that used a rollable display. That device was not a finished product, though, and required users to manually pull out the display to extend it.

Oppo is one of four major smartphone brands – along with Vivo, OnePlus and Realme – owned by BBK Electronics, which is based in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan in China’s southern Guangdong province. Since the brand was launched in 2004, Oppo has grown to become the world’s fifth largest smartphone brand. The company started as a budget handset maker and maintains a strong presence in lower-tier Chinese cities and developing markets across Southeast Asia.

Oppo’s Find X2 Lite offers 5G for under US$550

More recently, Oppo has started moving upmarket with more expensive handsets. It has also started to court consumers in Europe, where the market is dominated by mid-range and high-end devices because users are more willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for premium gadgets.

Oppo did not say whether the Oppo X 2021 will be available to consumers any time soon. The company’s current flagship phone is the Find X2 Pro, launched in May as the company’s most expensive ever. The 5G model was released in Europe for €1,199 (US$1,420).

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