The foldable phone just got real! We’ve heard a lot of news about foldable smartphones over recent times, especially from Samsung and Huawei. However, the two tech giants are trumped by a company you might never have heard of. California-based start-up Royole has beaten the major players to the crown for the world’s first foldable phone that you can actually buy.
There has been much talk of the race between Samsung and Huawei to release the world’s first foldable smartphone. We thought that Samsung only has to worry about Huawei launching its own foldable phone. But who knew that a start-up company will come in-between and win the race? Unveiled Wednesday at a conference in Beijing, the FlexPai mobile phone was made available to consumers in a flash sale on Thursday. Priced from 8,999 to 12,999 yuan ($1,295.49 to $1,871.33), the company said it would start delivering the phones in December.
During the press conference, Lui also announced that the firm would invest 200 million Yuan into global firms for developing apps and software for the device.
“The Royole FlexPai foldable smartphone provides mobile phone users with a revolutionary experience compared to traditional phones,” said Bill Liu, a founder, and CEO of Royole.
FlexPai, when opened up, has a large 7.8-inch AMOLED screen, making it bigger than the recent flagships like the Galaxy Note 9 and the iPhone XS Max. After folding it from the center, the device offers three small screens. The hinge also doubles up as a screen. The company claims that the phone’s folding mechanism is quite durable. The phone has been put through the folding and opening process 200,000 times to test the pressure mechanism.
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
FlexPai has a resolution of 1920 x 1440p in the expanded mode with the pixel density of 308ppi. The device, when folded, 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 sidebar’. The edge screen shows you alerts and notifications. The company claims that the screen provides fantastic color range, high contrast, wide angle, and high-resolution for outstanding picture quality.
Camera and other specs
As for optics, the device, unlike other smartphones, has only front cameras. The front camera also doubles as a rear camera if you fold the device. You will get 16MP and 20MP dual camera setup with f/1.8 aperture. The camera sensor also has an Optical Image Stabilization support.
Powering the device is Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 8 series processor with Adreno 630 GPU. The chipset will be a successor of the Snapdragon 845 and Qualcomm has not yet announced the name of this new SoC. The phone comes with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. The phone also supports expandable storage up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The phone runs on the company’s own Android 9.0 Pie based WaterOS 1.0 UI out of the box. The phone has also got a USB Type-C port and Bluetooth 5.1 for connectivity. And fueling the device is a huge 3,800mAh battery with support for fast charging. In terms of dimensions, FlexPai measures 134x 190.35 x 7.6mm and weigh around 326 grams.
Royole FlexPai Price and Availability
The Royole FlexPai is currently only available in China, where it costs the equivalent of $1,318 and $1,469 for 128GB and 256GB model respectively. The phone doesn’t look like something people will want to use as it is only available as a “developer model” right now. The company is taking pre-orders already and the phones will allegedly ship in late December.
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