Talks of foldable smartphones have been going on for as long as most enthusiasts can remember. While names that have popped up include major companies like Samsung, LG, and Huawei, it is California-based Royole that has beaten the big boys to the crown of becoming the first in the world to release a commercial foldable smartphone.
- A new Infinity-V display could power the Samsung Galaxy foldable phone
- Lenovo C Plus is a foldable phone that is convertible into a watch
- Huawei prepping a 5G foldable smartphone for mid-2019
Dubbed Royole FlexPai, the foldable handset, as expected, looks like a tablet when unfolded, where the screen stretches to a whopping 7.8 inches. When folded, you only get a compact 4-inch display real estate. Thanks to the Android 9 Pie-based Water OS skin that runs on top of stock Android, the FlexPai easily adapts to the current condition of the device, that is, folded or unfolded. This ensures that you always get the right interface whenever you switch from one mode to another.
- 7.8-inch (1920 x 1440) AMOLED foldable display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
- 6GB or 8GB RAM
- 128GB or 256GB or 512GB of expandable storage
- Dual 16MP + 20MP camera
- Android 9 Pie with Water OS 1.0
- Extras: Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, GPS, Ro-Charge fast charging technology, etc.
Qualcomm has yet to announce the next-gen Snapdragon 855 aka Snapdragon 8150, yet this is the processor that powers the Royole FlexPai handset. The powerful chipset comes mated with either 6GB or 8GB RAM alongside 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of internal storage. And yes, you still get a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 256GB.
Other specs of the FlexPai include a main 16MP sensor supported by a 20MP telephoto sensor. Fold the device and you turn this camera into a selfie shooter and when unfolded, it works as a rear camera. There’s a USB-C port to charge the 3800mAh battery on board and thanks to Ro-Charge, you should get up to 80% juice in just 30 minutes of charging.
The company says you can fold and unfold the FlexPai more than 200,000 times without causing any damages and like most 2018 flagship phones, there is no 3.5mm audio jack.
In China, the Royole FlexPai costs about $1,300 for the base model while the 8/256GB and 8/512GB variants cost about $1,500 and $1,900, respectively. Shipping in China begins in December 2018. For now, we don’t know if and when the device will arrive stateside and other global markets.