Unknown Chinese Company Beats Apple, Samsung & Huawei to First Foldable Smartphone

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:

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.

Features

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.

Via GizmoChina and The Verge

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani.


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  • Ahtysham Afzal

    Half cooked but genius !

    • C

      Half cooked but genius? Are you sh***ing me!? There’s nothing genius about this. Flexible smartphone concepts have existed for ages. Nokia had flexible smartphone concepts in 2005 under the name of Nokia Morph. Not to mention those bezels are straight from that era.

      Even if it was the most mind-blowing idea in the world, who would throw $1300 on a smartphone with questionable build quality from an unknown Chinese company?

      • Ahtysham Afzal

        Yeah, that is why I said half cooked because they will barely sale 100 products. Look how badly that screen is reflecting room lights, it’s not even practical because you cannot fold and put it in the pocket. There is also screen flickering and lag issue when folding the screen.

        They are genius because they are now the first company to release something like that for consumers. No doubt we are now within spitting distance to new innovative smartphones. People will prefer to wait, instead of buying this.