Samsung Galaxy Roll: a roll-up phone display that can double your screen size

If you thought that folding phones were bizarre, you ain't seen nothing yet. Samsung has patented a new smartphone – dubbed Samsung Galaxy Roll by the internet – featuring a design that unrolls like a scroll of parchment to double your screen size. 

Surreal screen design just seems to be how Samsung rolls these days, between the disaster that is the Samsung Galaxy Fold and its previous wacky idea to produce a wraparound phone display

• Read more: Best camera phones

While other companies might have taken a cue from the folding fiasco and stuck with normal screens that aren't susceptible to so many problems, Samsung has rolled with the punches in a literal way and developed a screen that actually rolls up. 

The Samsung Galaxy Roll extends like a tape measure

Like a tape measure, the Samsung Galaxy Roll extends by rolling the screen out from within

Spotted by LetsGoDigital, the patent for an "electronic device comprising flexible display having expandable display area" was published this month after being filed by the company on 28 November 2018.

The patent describes a smartphone with a flexible screen that can be extended by pulling it out, like a tape measure, and 'stretching' the screen size via a slider mechanism within the phone. 

Featuring two housing covers and the slider mechanism, the phone would comprise "a flexible display mounted in the slider such that at least a part thereof is exposed, and disposed to allow a display area to be expanded according to the withdrawal of the slider and allow the expanded display area to be concealed in the housing according to the entrance of the slider".

The Samsung Galaxy Roll's slider and screen mechanism

No, it's not an electric toothbrush – it's the Samsung Galaxy Roll's slider and screen mechanism

While its most obvious application is for smartphones, Samsung expressed that other uses for the display could be everything from tablets and desktop computers to smart glasses and cameras, and even electronic tattoos. No, we're not sure either.

The idea of a camera possessing a pull-out screen would offer tantalizing possibilities for Live View functionality (though it might make your batteries cry), as well as an intriguing potential solution for situations where you need to quickly approve images without tethering. 

The resolution, responsiveness and robustness of such a screen is another matter entirely, but if it ever makes it to market we're fascinated to see what Samsung could do with this tech. If it doesn't break when upon being given to reviewers, of course. 

Read more:

Forget folding phones – Samsung's next trick is a wraparound screen
The best camera phones in 2019

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.