While everyone has set eyes on the foldable smartphone-tablet hybrid from Samsung, Royole, a consumer electronics company, has already stolen the show with its first ever flexible display device. The 7.8-inch hybrid smartphone is called FlexPai. With the ability to fold itself 180 degrees, the 7.8-inch screen can be folded into a smartphone.
In a San Francisco event, Royole unveiled a working version of the FlexPai which was available for hands-on experience. The folding feature is the same as advertised. While the quality and build of the product are not even close to a high-end modern flagship device out there, but it yet remains the first real foldable device someone may have ever seen. All the concept videos or prototype stages that you have seen about foldable phones have come true.
As of now, the base model of FlexPai will be available as a consumer device in China at the price of 8,999 yuan, or around $1,300. If you’re a developer in North America, you can also pay the price in US dollars. The base model has 128GB of storage, you can get additional 2GB RAM that is total 8GB of RAM for an extra $150.
Coming to the specs under the hood, the device will have a 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a display with the resolution of 1920×1440 in tablet mode, and a 3,800 mAh battery to power the device. The official Royole website is open for pre-ordering the consumer and developer version. The company has said that it will deliver the consumer and developer version in December.
One can say that this is a first-generation product. On using it, the software was sluggish, the frequent accidental launching of applications, and random change in orientation when the executive was demonstrating the folding process, makes it evident that it’s not ready. Maybe that is even a hint that the company should not use its custom Water OS for the device.
This phone is more about how the hardware innovation is taking place to create a virtually unbreakable AMOLED display. It was also a challenge to put a reasonable battery to withstand folding. The phone manufacturers say that the screen can be folded about 200,000 times. Nobody knows what will happen after that. There are many speculations regarding how will it compete with other manufacturer’s attempts. Overall, it is a great step into the folding mobile market.