Neither Huawei nor Samsung – First Folding Smartphone is from Royole

While Samsung, Huawei, and LG appeared to be the main players in the race to draw the first foldable smartphone market, a Chinese manufacturer, Royole, has created the surprise by cutting the grass under their feet.

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You’ve probably never heard of the Royole company before. But, this Chinese smartphone maker is in the headlines with FlexPai, the world’s first flexible smartphone, ahead of giants like Samsung, LG, and Huawei. It’s a hybrid of a phone with a tablet that connects a curved screen. The device is called Royole FlexPai.

The company itself is headquartered in Fremont, California – USA, but most of its employees stay in China, where they have a factory in Shenzhen. The Royole Corporation was founded in 2012 by graduates of Stanford University. A little-known company overtook Samsung in showing the world a new type of device.

royole-flexpai
Because it is foldable, it can stand on a table (tent mode)

The Korean giant for a long time working on folding smartphone, which is called Galaxy X now. According to the latest rumors, the Samsung device can be shown at the conference for programmers in the second week of November (Samsung Developer Conference 2018).

Royole FlexPai – the first folding phone

The Royole FlexPai features a 7.8-inch screen. After folding the device, the available display is divided into three sections: front, back, and side.

With a 7.8-inch screen, the Royole FlexPai looks more like a folded tablet, which you can use as a smartphone. The flexible screen allows it to fold in half without breaking, making such a large device more portable.

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.”

The Royole did not talk about the overall size of the device when it is folded, but the screen is 4 inches. Still part of the device is with a side panel to the right (without screen). The model has a thickness of 7.8 mm when unfolded. It would then be the equivalent of carrying two iPhone XS Max in one pocket. The weight of the FlexPai is 320 grams.

Inside the device, we will find the Snapdragon series 8 processor (it is not known exactly which one) with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 4:3 aspect ratio (like some tablets) with a resolution of 1440 x 1920 pixels.

There are two cameras on the side of the unit. They feature 20 megapixel and 16-megapixel sensors with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. With the screen folded, pictures can be taken with the camera facing both directions.

Royole-Flexpai
When deployed, Royole Flexpai acts as a small tablet

It runs Water OS 1.0, which is a fork of Android 9 (Pie), considering that none of the current versions of Android have the ability to promote the switching of the system UI based on the change of screen size.

Carrier support is limited to Chinese networks at launch, with no prediction of when the Royole FexPai folding smartphone will be launched in other regions of the globe.

It costs about $1,300 for the basic model of 6GB/128GB, or US $1,870 for the 8GB model RAM and internal storage of 512GB. The Royole FlexPai will start to ship in late December.

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