Forget Galaxy Z Fold 3: Oppo rollable phone looks stunning in hands-on videos

Oppo X 2021 rollable phone
(Image credit: Brandon Le Proktor/YouTube)

New videos have given us our best look yet at the upcoming Oppo X 2021 rollable phone — and revealed that it will support wireless air charging.

The Chinese manufacturer’s concept phone already looked like a proper rival to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, thanks to its rollable screen that seamlessly expands at a touch. But a new video from Oppo now shows that it also has fancy new over-the-air wireless charging — a feature that’s not yet available on any phone you can buy.

The hands-on video, released by Oppo on its Mobile World Congress Shanghai microsite, shows the device held above a charging pad and continuing to juice up even at a distance of several centimeters. 

In fact, Oppo has said it will work up to 10cm away from the charging mat and can deliver up to 7.5W of power. Furthermore, while some wireless charging products need to be positioned in a certain way in order to work, the X 2021 will use ”magnetic resonance technology“ to avoid this problem. In essence, this involves using magnets to deliver inductive coupling between two wire coils, one in the device and one in the charger. 

Oppo X 2021 rollable phone wireless air charging

(Image credit: Oppo)

The Oppo hands-on video also gives us another look at how the concept phone’s rolling mechanism will work: merely sliding a finger down the side of the phone is enough to make it expand from 6.7 inches to 7.4 inches.

As well as the short clip from Oppo itself, we’ve also been treated to two new hands-on videos from a couple of European sites.

XDA Developers first spotted these videos, which come courtesy of Brandon Le Proktor in France and AllroundPC in Germany. While these videos have certainly tested our non-English speaking abilities, they give us a proper look at how the rolling mechanism will work on the device.

Unveiled during the company’s annual INNO Day last year, the videos don’t tell us much more about the phone. But just watching the screen expand and shrink over and over again is pretty remarkable. 

If you’re curious how this impressive rollable screen works, the device uses interlocking back plating powered by a pair of small motors that slide apart and then back together as required. 

The videos also show Oppo’s ColorOS software and various apps adjust in real-time as the screen is unfurled. 

Oppo is most certainly not the only phone manufacturer in the expandable-screens game. Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 3 is expected to launch later this year and will give the Oppo X 2021 some competition.

The big advantage of a rollable screen, compared to one that folds out, is the lack of hinges. Early foldable models have had recurring problems with hinges breaking or the motion of frequently unfolding the phone causing creases on the screen itself. Rollable screens are set to avoid these problems.

Before you get too excited, we still don’t have confirmation that the Oppo X 2021 will ever actually be released to consumers. That said, based on these hands-on videos, we wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement is forthcoming. Time will tell here. 

But if you want a smartphone with a flexible display then check out our selection of the best foldable phones you can buy right now. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.