We take control of the most impressive rollable smartphone of 2023

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Motorola takes advantage of MWC 2023 to present a prototype rollable smartphone that is as impressive as it is intelligent. We were able to take him by the hand to share with you our first impressions (but also our fears).

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

brag. We were able to discover the most exciting product of MWC 2023: a rollable (or rollable?) smartphone. A very impressive concept that we were able to take in hand and that is signed… Motorola.


My MWC 2023 starts well! I’m talking about this rollable smartphone (rollable? 🤔) very soon @frandroid !!! pic.twitter.com/7EIxvOK7hu

— Omar Belkaab (@OmarBelkaab) February 26, 2023

A Razr-inspired “Rizr”

If we can read the mention “Rizr” on the back of the device, the latter does not have an official name. Motorola spokespersons simply speak of a “rollup proof of concept“. In other words, it is a prototype. Despite this, it has already left a strong impression on us because it was already well thought out.

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

The expandable smartphone first comes as a device with a 5-inch display in a 15:9 aspect ratio. A double press on the power button located on the side and that’s it! The slab unrolls smoothly thanks to a motorized system and offers you a more classic 6.5-inch screen in 21:9.

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

The transition is smooth and really impresses. The opportunity to specify that the screen used is of the same type as in a foldable Motorla Razr – it is quite logical, you need a flexible panel in both cases. However, being a rollable smartphone, we find the same principle as in the Oppo X 2021 prototype.

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

In other words, the screen will be stored in a dedicated space, and more or less hidden, on the back of the smartphone. Note that a small part remains visible on the back to, among other things, display the summary information of the Always on display. Only when you want to take advantage of the 6.5-inch diagonal does this hidden part at the back unfold on the front face. Trust me, it does its part.

An ingenious software experience

Also, Motorola didn’t stop at simple hardware. The brand has already thought of some uses around this format. Three examples come to mind: YouTube, Gmail, and selfies.

Let’s start with YouTube. If you start a video in the app while holding your smartphone upright, you won’t notice anything very particular. However, as soon as the device is tilted horizontally, it understands that the video should be displayed in full screen and automatically activates the panel extension. Return to the home screen and the phone retracts. Elegant.

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

In Gmail, the demo is also interesting. If you scroll through your inbox while the smartphone is in 5-inch format, it behaves normally. However, if you press the button to compose a new mail, the phone’s screen automatically scrolls down to make room for the keyboard at the bottom. Again, that’s smart.

Finally, if you want to take a selfie, you can photograph yourself with the sensors located on the back to enjoy better quality and then you will have a screen return on the part of the screen that will be stored on the back of the smartphone. to achieve the best pose.

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

However, if you do not want to return the smartphone, just press the button to switch to the front camera.

But where is this hidden? Under the screen? Not at all. It’s only revealed if you activate the selfie mode: the screen folds down very slightly, but this time downwards and that’s where the front camera is visible. We find this same operation – with the screen that goes down only a few millimeters – for calls.

In fact, a slim speaker sits next to the selfie camera so you can easily make your calls with the compact form of the smartphone.

Fears around this rollable smartphone

Certain fears obviously remain around this prototype. Can the on-board motorized system withstand time without being damaged? The brand does not communicate on this topic. Still in terms of durability, we may be concerned to see that the upper part of the smartphone, when unrolled, is particularly thin. It seems easy enough to accidentally break it in there.

Motorola’s rollable smartphone prototype at MWC 2023 // Source: Frandroid

Finally, we highlight an uncomfortable detail: the noise generated by the smartphone when it is rolled or unrolled. The decibels skyrocket. Obviously we would like a more discreet device.

All these questions are probably already in the minds of the Motorola teams, which obviously does not give an estimate of the launch date of a possible finished and marketable model.

N.B. Frandroid was able to take control of this product as part of a special program organized by Motorola for certain technological media.

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