Rollable Pixel: News, Price, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors

Everything you need to know about Google's rolling phone

Rollable phones are inevitable in the evolution of expanding screen sizes, and it might just be how Google decides to build a Pixel in the future. We’re still really early in the rumor stages—in fact, there are basically zero rumors—but that won’t stop us from speculating what a Pixel Roll might be like.

When Will the Rollable Pixel Be Released?

Likely not anytime soon. Google’s already planning a Pixel 6 for later this year, plus another screen-extending device called Pixel Fold. Both are expected in 2021, so adding a rollable phone to the lineup this year seems pretty aggressive.

Plus, the only recent nugget of news that points to this device being a possibility is a tweet:

Ross Young is a display market analyst with DSCC, which stated in early 2021 that rollable phones are coming:

In fact, we expect to see at least 12 different foldable and rollable smartphones on the market from at least 8 brands and shipments of more than three million units in Q4’21.

We also know from a patent granted in 2007 that Google has its eyes on an "expandable display having rollable material."

The small screens on these computing systems would be much more useful to users if the physical viewing area of the display could be changed to accommodate the needs of the users. A system for changing the viewing area must be easily implemented and adapted to existing computer systems. In addition, the system should be cost effective. The present invention addresses such a need. 

Although that particular invention focuses on computer screens, something similar could be adapted for phones, which is clear in a more recent patent granted in 2020 for an "electronic device with flexible display."

patent illustration for electronic device with flexible display
Google patent US10782739B2.

Google

Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate

It's obvious Google is narrowing in on devices with a flexible display, it's just not clear when it'll happen. We’ll follow Ross Young’s rough prediction for now and put the Pixel Roll’s release date at late 2022 or early 2023.

Rollable Pixel Price Rumors

A rollable phone results in something similar to a fully extended foldable phone where, when all the screen real estate is open and laid out, you have more operating room to do whatever you want.

But unlike a foldable phone which just...folds, a rollable phone uses a motorized mechanism to push the screen to its extended state. This, along with its flexible display, could end up more expensive to manufacture than the hinge used in a foldable device.

Then again, some foldable phones have multiple displays, whereas a rollable phone can be just one large, flexible screen that unravels from the device's body like a scroll.

Unfortunately for us users, a foldable phone is already more expensive than a traditional phone, so we should expect to spend more for a rollable Pixel, too.

It's not yet clear how the roll-up Pixel will work. It could be really futuristic where the entire phone is flexible, rollable, and paper-thin, though that's unlikely anytime soon. That device, if released today, could easily reach $3k, which is why the rollable function will probably be more of a screen extension that rolls out when you need it.

At the end of the day, you'll pay more for a rollable Pixel than you do a normal Pixel. But how much more is still up for debate. Our guess is a final price anywhere from $2k to up to $2,500.

Pre-Order Information

Details on when you can pre-order the Pixel Roll will surface closer to its launch, probably fall 2022 at the earliest.

Rollable Pixel Features

Because we're so far out from the phone's launch date, there aren't reliable rumors on the kinds of features to expect in the Google Pixel Roll. We'll update as necessary, so be sure to check back.

Rollable Pixel Specs and Hardware

As with most new phones, it isn't a stretch to assume the new phone will have stronger internals like more storage and more RAM than the current Pixel. New colors and upgraded cameras also wouldn't be surprising.

But, similar to the phone's features still being under wraps for now, there's still no information when it comes to its specs and design. Will the rollable Pixel sport a brand-new design to set it far apart from the rest of the lineup or is it just a simple screen extension which gives it its name? Maybe it'll be a mixture between a fold and a rollable where it folds outward first but then rolls even further to turn a compact phone into a decently large tablet.

Per the patent mentioned above, we know how the invention would work:

A display is disclosed. The display comprises a plurality of expandable tubes and a rollable material coupled to the expandable tubes, Wherein the plurality of tubes can be expanded and contracted to increase or decrease the size of the display.
expandable display illustration from Google patent US7268491B2
Google patent US7268491B2.

Google

Below is an expanding phone concept from OPPO, whose functionality Google might try replicating in the Pixel Roll. This Samsung Galaxy Z Slide concept video is similar.

The Latest News About the Rollable Pixel

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are related stories and some of the latest rumors we've found on the rollable Pixel:

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