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Hands-on with the rollable TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate concept at MWC 2024

TECNO is showing off its rollable PHANTOM Ultimate concept at MWC 2024, with the brand looking to further innovate smartphone design tech.

Custom image of the ollable TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate concept in its glass glass at MWC 2024

We’re on the ground in Barcelona at MWC 2024, checking out all the latest and greatest in mobile hardware from across the world. Today, we got to go hands-on with the rollable TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate concept phone, a bold innovation from the tech brand often better known for its more affordable devices.

While flip and foldable phones are all well and good, they’re not quite as exciting these days, with multiple companies offering different versions of the folding technology. It appears the next big idea is rollable phones, with TECNO taking on the format following previous concepts from Motorola and OPPO. While we only had a short time with the device, we can tell why the brand is so eager to show it off.

The idea of a rollable phone might seem baffling to some, so let me briefly explain how the technology behind the TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate works. Essentially, you hold the thing in your hand, as you would any other smartphone, before pressing a button on the top of the frame that extends the device by around half an inch in just over a second, resulting in a 7.11-inch display size that’s somewhere in the middle of a regular phone and an open folding phone.

According to the team at TECNO, testing has shown that the PHANTOM Ultimate is capable of extending 100,000 times. While it’s a very sharp-looking bit of kit, we have to admit that due to the size when rolled out, it feels a little too big for one hand and a little too small for two – though I pretty have big hands, so this might be slightly biased. Outside of this gripe, the extended form factor is pretty impressive, offering a wider display rather than a longer one like some other rollable concepts we’ve seen over the years.

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While the big attraction is seeing the PHANTOM Ultimate extend, the rollable technology also offers extra usability before you hit the button to increase the screen size. While retracted, the device utilizes the part of the phone that rolls around on extension as a smaller secondary display, which is just about big enough to offer you the time or deliver notifications. If you want a better idea of what that looks like, check out the official video from TECNO above.

Unfortunately, as this is a concept phone, we’re not anticipating seeing the PHANTOM Ultimate on the market any time soon. Still, if TECNO continues to pursue innovations in rollable technology, we may see something similar arrive in the coming years. If that is the case, I’d like to see the screen extend just a little wider, though not so much as something like the PHANTOM V Fold while open.

Custom image of the ollable TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate concept in the hand at MWC 2024

There you have it, our hands-on experience with the rollable TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate phone. For more of our coverage from MWC, see our thoughts on the TECNO Dynamic 1 robot dog, or see all the highlights from the Xiaomi 14 global launch and Honor 2024 global launch. Or, if it’s gaming you’re after, check out our list of the best portable gaming consoles.