Royole FlexPai Emerges As World's First Foldable Display Smartphone

Smartphone makers Samsung and Huawei have both aimed to be the first to market with a folding screen smartphone. However, a company called Royole has stepped around both of those major manufacturers and has launched a folding screen smartphone that is called the FlexPai. It looks more like a tablet than a smartphone and doesn’t appear to be very pocketable. Royole has published a video that makes the FlexPai look very interesting.


However, the hands-on video of the tablet in the real world makes the device look decidedly less sexy. FlexPai appears in the hands-on video to be very bulky when closed with a screen that is still too large to fit in a pocket. The smooth and bendable screen is very cool, even if the software on the device appears to be laggy.

One of the coolest things about the hands-on video is that the user is shown playing a game with the screen unfolded; when the screen is closed the game moves to one side of the device's screen. When the device is flipped over, the smartphone's standard navigation and software launch features are ready to be used. This would give the user the ability to play a game on one side of the screen and do things like respond to texts or check email by flipping the device over.

Reports indicate that the hardware inside the FlexPai includes a Snapdragon 8-series chipset and 6GB of RAM. Ice Universe tweeted that the device will use a Snapdragon 8150 processor. One of the biggest downsides to this device comes in the price; reports indicate FlexPai will start at ¥8,999 or about $1,290. Pre-orders for FlexPai kicked off October 31, and the device is said to ship in December. It's not clear if Royole plans to sell the device outside of China.

The FlexPai certainly shows what fans lusting after a folding screen device can expect when they launch. The FlexPai isn't as polished as we might expect of a device from Samsung or Huawei, but it certainly looks better than the canceled Samsung Project Valley device.