Samsung has indicated that its foldable smartphones will be out in 2019 and the rumor mills have been working overtime to give out the details. Huawei’s Jim Xu said in an interview that his company can market their foldable device in a few months. LG is known to have been working on the technology and has plans to release its model soon. More than that, LG is planning to supply foldable OLED panels to Lenovo and Dell. Also, there has been general agreement that folding technology is the next in thing in smartphone business. And now, into this scene enters a relatively minor player from Fremont, California and announces their foldable device, with pre-orders opening on 31 October 2018. Surprise, surprise.
FlexPai, Royole Corporation’s foldable smartphone will be the first device of its kind to be marketed. When folded out into tablet form, FlexPai has a 7.8-inch display and folded into the handset mode, it shrinks into 4 inches, with a display on both sides. When folded, the display gets readjusted, and the readjustment doesn’t look very smooth. You get a feeling that the software takes time to change modes. And there is another hitch in folding; the FlexPai doesn’t fold perfectly flat and ends up a little bulky. If you want to keep it in your pocket, make sure that the pocket is roomy. Royole’s claim is that you can fold the device about 200,000 times without breaking it.
The phone comes with a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 series chip clocked at 2.8GHz. (The chip is quite new: Qualcomm is yet to announce it.) The base model has 6GB RAM, 128 GB internal storage and a microSD card. The Tab mode has a 7.8-inch AMOLED display, with 1920 x 1440-pixel resolution. There are two cameras at 20 MP and 16 MP. The OS is Android 9 Pie, with Royole’s Water OS running on top. The phone is not very light, it weighs 0.7 lb./320 g. It is not light on the pocket either, the base model costs $1,291. For the fully loaded version (8GB/512GB) you will be paying $1,864.