In the race to launch the world’s first smartphone with a foldable display, Samsung and Huawei have been dropping hints and teasers since the last few months.
Despite being two of the biggest smartphone makers on the planet, they were beaten by a relatively unknown Chinese company in the foldable phone race.
Meet Royole FlexPai, the first, truly foldable smartphone. We apologize for the low quality video, but this is the only one available online which shows the phone being handled live:
This is the "world's first foldable screen phone" released by Rouyu Technology, which will use the Snapdragon 8150 processor, but its design is very rough, just to seize the "first", this is a futures product. pic.twitter.com/M0v9o2z0Bw
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) October 31, 2018
The official English name of the company is Royole and not Rouyu. You can take a better look at FlexPai in this promotional video:
As seen above, FlexPai is a mix between a tablet and a smartphone in terms of screen size.
FlexPai has a 7.8″ OLED panel with a 1920 x 1440 (4:3) resolution in “expanded mode” (unfolded). It doesn’t fully fold in half, leaving empty space in the middle. This is a very early design so this much can be forgiven. It can also display 3 different aspect ratios including 16:9, 4:3 and 18:9 and can display different types of content on both sides of the display at the same time.
Once folded, the middle section, called “Edge Screen”, can display notifications and other important info, making sure that the empty space doesn’t go to waste. Royole points out that they have bent the screen 200,000 times for quality assurance, making sure that display looks sharp from every angle with no color shift or contrast issues.
Moving on to the internals, it has an unspecified Qualcomm 8 series processor, likely to be a Snapdragon 855 or 8150, with 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 128/256/512 GB of storage. It runs “Water OS”, based on Android 9.0 Pie.
There’s dual cameras on the front (or the back when folded) with a 20 MP and 16 MP sensor. They come with OIS, Autofocus, and a LED flash. This is a pretty cool implementation of the foldable phone concept, eliminating the need to include separate front and rear cameras.
Battery, Price and Availability
Lastly, FlexPai has a 3,800 mAh battery unit with “Ro-Charge” fast charging technology. It can charge the phone up to 80% in an hour.
FlexPai will come at a prices of:
- ¥8999 (~$1290) for 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage
- ¥9998 (~$1434) for 8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage
- ¥12999 (~$1864) for 8 GB RAM, 512 GB storage
Royole has started taking pre-orders for the phone, promising shipments in December this year.
You can learn more about FlexPai from here.