🚀 Good morning! It’s Mi Mix 4 launch day today, and we’re expecting one of Xiaomi’s more top-spec phones in a long time.

Z Roll?

samsung rollable phone concept render patent

Samsung’s going to launch a bunch of foldable stuff tomorrow, but it is clearly thinking seriously about rollable phones.

  • A detailed patent document was unearthed by LetsGoDigital, which includes 32 pages of info from a German filing.
  • We’ve already seen trademark filings for Samsung with the Galaxy “Z Roll” and “Z Slide” being secured.
  • Now we have a bunch of info, including helpful renders that provide an impression of Samsung’s tech.

samsung rollable phone patent

The details:

  • Llike the Oppo X 2021, and LG’s cancelled rollable, Samsung’s patent imagines a rollable phone with a display that extends outwards. Once extended, the display becomes 40-50% larger, and the UI adapts automatically. 
  • Huawei is also working on a rollable, using magnets to prevent creases showing in the rolled-out phone.
  • Samsung’s avoiding creases by using “multiple flexible/elastic carrier films,” together with a clever mechanical hinge structure to support the folded-out display, along with a supportive flat plate.
  • There’s also talk of an under-display camera with the model.
  • The robust documentation appears to suggest Samsung has developed the technology here, not just patents of ideas. But there’s still, usually, a long way to go between prototyping, production, and a commercial release.
  • According to our own Dhruv Bhutani, even rollable prototypes seem to make more sense than foldables, when he wrote: 
  • “My time with the Oppo X 2021 has me convinced that rollable phones have distinct advantages over foldables.”
  • “Having tried out almost all the foldable smartphones on the market, I can safely say that the Oppo X 2021 gets the closest to combining a smartphone and tablet experience in a singular device, and that’s largely due to how usable the phone is.”
  • That said, people who own foldables do seem to love them. Stockholm Syndrome when paying big money, or actual utility?
  • Glad you asked! There’s a great piece at Gizmodo that cautiously enthuses about the Fold 2, with the one (fairly significant) downside being dust bubbles with the screen protector.
  • Will that be fixed with the Fold 3?


⌚Samsung just announced a new Exynos wearables chipset, coming to the Galaxy Watch 4 to be announced tomorrow, is a pretty big leap for Wear OS smartwatches: from 26nm to 5nm, better power efficiency, 20% faster CPU, and 10x more graphics (Android Authority).

🔐Google’s VPN service for higher-tier Google One subscribers is now available outside the US, adding Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the UK to the list if you pay $9.99 or so a month (Android Authority).

💵 We asked, you told us: Here’s what you’d pay for the Pixel 6 Pro (Android Authority).

🔜Asus ROG Phone 5S tipped for launch: adds the Snapdragon 888 Plus (Android Authority).

🎧Beats Studio Buds review: Apple’s Android olive branch (Android Authority).

🍎 Apple released an FAQ and had a call with reporters, saying it will refuse government demands to expand photo-scanning beyond CSAM (Ars Technica). But the hits keep coming: Stratechery has a post called “Apple’s Mistake” which neatly questions why Apple didn’t stick with cloud storage scanning, and went on-device, saying: “It’s truly disappointing that Apple got so hung up on its particular vision of privacy that it ended up betraying the fulcrum of user control: being able to trust that your device is truly yours.”

🔑Google’s new Titan security key lineup won’t make you choose between USB-C and NFC, only USB-A vs USB-C. $30/35, on sale today (The Verge).

🎮 Gamescom 2021 gets officially underway on August 25th, and Microsoft has announced an event on August 24 (Engadget).

🔋 A new Lamborghini Countach is coming, and for the 50th anniversary, the famous Lambo might add a battery (The Verge).

💪 The squishy, far-out new experiments headed to the ISS (Wired).

🛰SpaceX is buying an Internet of Things smallsat company (Engadget).

🎮Which video game franchise should be revived?” (r/askreddit).

Chart Tuesday

Here’s how the marathon world record has changed over the years, as competitors keep trying to get past the two-hour barrier (in legal conditions, i.e. not including the successful sub-two hour experiment staged by a British multinational chemical company — though more power to Eliud Kipchoge for getting that cash!):


  • Kipchoge’s incredible record is 2:01:39.
  • Most of the narrowing of the record time has been Kipchoge’s efforts, who lives a life of running in a small community in Kenya.
  • In the New York Times there’s this remarkable quote: “A millionaire, Kipchoge is known to live an ascetic lifestyle while training with his running group at altitude in Kenya: living apart from his family, chopping vegetables for communal meals, cleaning toilets, hand-washing his gear, and drawing water from a well.”
  • But “while training” doesn’t really cut it – Kipchoge seems to always be training.
  • Performance coach and author Steve Magness wrote on Twitter: “Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest of all time… in ANY sport. His domination in a major sport in the modern era is unprecedented.”

Amazing! Have an inspired Tuesday,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor