FlexPai: The world's first foldable smartphone by a start-up
In the race to launch the world's first commercial foldable smartphone, California-based start-up Royole has beaten heavyweights like Samsung and Lenovo. Called FlexPai, the phone-cum-tablet device was launched in Beijing at a starting price of CNY 8,999 (approx. Rs. 95,000). The key highlights of the smartphone are its novel design with foldable AMOLED display, high-end internals, and Android Pie-based OS. Here's everything about it.
Introducing the world’s first foldable smartphone, a stylish combination of a mobile phone and tablet with a fully flexible screen: the Royole FlexPai! For more information, please visit: https://t.co/MWdBBP9rUm pic.twitter.com/VmgOtOAkeU— Royole Europe (@Royole_Europe) October 31, 2018
First up, you're met with the novel foldable design that opens out to form a tablet. In the unfolded state, you see slim skirting around the three sides and a prominent bezel on one side which houses the dual-cameras. On the back, there's glossy-metallic chassis (presumably glass) with a thick rubber hinge across the center of the device where the phone folds and unfolds.
The FlexPai features a 7.8-inch (expanded mode) AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920x1440 pixels and a 308ppi pixel density. The display, in three different working positions, features an aspect ratio of 4:3, 16:9 and 18:9 aspect ratios. When folded, the curved-edge screen shows alerts and notifications. Royole claims the screen is "virtually unbreakable and extremely durable" and has passed over 200,000 bend tests.
The FlexPai is powered by Qualcomm next-generation Snapdragon 8 series SoC, paired with Adreno 630 GPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage (expandable upto 256GB). The phone sports a dual-view (front and back) 16MP+20MP dual-camera setup with an f/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilization and LED flash. It packs 3,800mAh battery with RO fast charge support and runs Android Pie-based WaterOS 1.0.
In terms of connectivity options, the phone supports dual SIM cards (Nano), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/A-GPS, USB Type-C port for charging and audio output (no headphone jack). Sensors onboard the FlexPai include an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, multi-axis gyro, compass, hall effect sensor, barometer, and a fingerprint sensor.