Royole – a company based in California – have announced the Royole FlexPai that’s set to be the first commercially available foldable smartphone.
Unfolded, this looks like a tablet at 7.8-inch AMOLED but the screen will shrink to 4 inches when you’ve folded it away. When it’s folded, it’ll switch from a tablet interface to something more suitable for phones.
There’s Android 9 Pie software right away out of the box, but it comes with the company’s own UI called Water OS running on top of that.
You can see how the phone folds in the video provided by IceUniverse below. The company claims you’ll be able to bend this device over 200,000 times without it breaking, which should see you through years of use.
Beating the big guns
An interesting quirk here is the company is using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 chipset that has yet to be announced by the company. That’s a bit more powerful than the Snapdragon 845 we’ve seen in most flagship devices in 2019.
There are three different versions of the foldable phone too with one sporting 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and the other two 8GB of RAM with either 256GB or 512GB of storage.
There’s a 3,800mAh battery inside the phone, but it has yet to be said how long that will last. Considering this may be powering a 7.8-inch tablet for a lot of its usage, it may not be as impressive as some would hope.
The rear camera sports a 16MP shooter with a 20MP telephoto lens, but that’ll also act as the selfie camera when you’ve turned the FlexPai into its smartphone shape.
We’ve yet to hear whether the company plans to release the device outside of China. If it does, it’ll be the equivalent of $1300 / £1000 / AU$1820 so it’s not going to be a cheap device to buy.