Royole FlexPai beats Galaxy X to world’s first foldable phone glory

We’ve heard a lot of noise about foldable smartphones over recent months, largely from Samsung and Huawei. However, the two tech giants have trumped by a company you might never have heard of before. Meet the Royole FlexPai, which has beaten the Galaxy X to the crown of world’s first foldable phone you can actually buy.

Royole has just unveiled the FlexPai, the world’s first commercially available foldable smartphone. In truth, it’s more like a smartphone-tablet hybrid, which features a 7.8-inch, 1920 x 1440 AMOLED display that you can fold like a book.

When the device is folded, it has a primary 1440 x 810 front display, a secondary 1440 x 720 rear display, and tertiary 1440 x 390 display that runs down its spine, called the ‘edge screen side bar’. Here it is.

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Royole says “the interface on the primary and secondary screens can mutually interact with each other, or independently use different interfaces without interfering with one another,” and adds that the edge screen side bar can be used for notifications and managing calls and messages, which won’t appear on the primary display.

In tablet mode, it measures in at 190.35 x 134 x 7.6mm and 320g. Royole hasn’t revealed how thick the device is when it’s folded, but since it doesn’t quite fold flush, we can safely assume it’s slightly chunkier than 15.2mm.

royole FlexPai

royole FlexPai

royole FlexPai

“The Royole FlexPai foldable smartphone provides mobile phone users with a revolutionary, different experience compared to traditional phones,” said Dr. Bill Liu, the founder and CEO of Royole.

“It perfectly solves the contradiction between the high-definition large-screen experience and portability, which introduces a whole new dimension to the human-machine interface. The phone’s inherent design will forever change the consumer electronics industry, as well as the way people interact with and perceive their world.”

According to the company, the FlexPai can be folded at different angles, and can survive being folded more than 200,000 times.

It runs Water OS 1.0, which is based on Android Pie and will automatically adapt to different folding angles, “Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8-series flagship SoC” and is available with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage, which can be expanded via the microSD card slot.

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It also features 16- and 20-megapixel camera sensors, a 3800mAh battery and a fingerprint scanner.

Royole FlexPai release date and price

The Royole FlexPai is currently only available in China, where it costs the equivalent of £1209 (128GB) or £1349 (256GB). Astonishingly, that’s less than the top-spec iPhone XS Max, which will set you back £1449.

The Royole FlexPai will begin shipping in late December.

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