Royole FlexPai Foldable Smartphone
I was thinking this folding smartphone anticipation wouldn't be over 'til the fat lady Samsungs, but with their FlexPai smartphone it looks like Stanford-grad-run Royole is as close to a bendy device release as the obese electronics giant. In fact, if you're jonesing real hard for folding phone-tablet hybrid, you can order a developer's model of the FlexPai in 128GB or 256GB from Royole right now, with fulfillment beginning in December 2018.
If the Royole name sounds familiar, it's probably because they're also responsible for the Moon 3D mobile theater and the RoWrite smart writing pad. Both are neat, generally well-received tech, but also products that appeal to a smaller, more niche market than a smartphone with an ultrathin, fully flexible display. I'll be curious to see whether or not the FlexPai delivers on its hardware and performance, and if Royole can keep up with updates and next gen versions once they start getting developer package feedback.
At this point, here's how Royole's FlexPai foldable smartphone has been designed and built:
- The FlexPai folding range is 0 to 180 degrees.
- Unfolded, tablet-style, the FlexPai flexible screen is a 7.8" full-color display with 4:3 aspect ratio and 1920 x 1440 resolution.
- Folded, as a pocket-sized smartphone, there are 3 screens available to use - primary, secondary, and edge.
- If you're working or gaming, incoming calls, emails, and messages appear on the edge screen so the notifications aren't disruptive.
- The FlexPai phone has 2 cameras, one 20MP telephoto and the other 16MP wide angle. The bendable display also facilities moving the cameras to capture objects at unique angles.
- The FlexPai's operating system is Water OS, based on Android 9.0.
Presumably consumer models of the FlexPai will follow in the next year, maybe less since I hear Royole released a consumer version of its foldable smartphone to customers in China in tandem with their developer models in the US.