We're almost sick of hearing rumors about a supposed Samsung phone with a folding screen, and even Huawei is reportedly working on something similar. Yet both have been beaten in the race to unveil a smartphone with a folding display that you can actually purchase.
Chinese company Royole is better known for making singular components, but it has now put its flexible AMOLED technology into a device of its own. The FlexPai is both a phone and a tablet, with a 7.8-inch screen (4:3, 1920x1440) when unfurled. The display can apparently be folded more than 200,000 times without damage.
As for the other specs, it's powered by an unspecified "Qualcomm next-gen Snapdragon 8 series SoC," rumored to be the new 8150 (see tweet below), along with 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage. The dual camera module consists of a 20MP telephoto sensor and a 16MP wide angle, which can be front or rear-facing, depending on how you fold the FlexPai.
This is the "world's first foldable screen phone" released by Rouyu Technology, which will use the Snapdragon 8150 processor, but its design is very rough, just to seize the "first", this is a futures product. pic.twitter.com/M0v9o2z0Bw
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) October 31, 2018
The OS is referred to as Water OS, a heavily customized skin over the top of Android 9 Pie. This allows for notifications on the side of the fold, among other unique features. It's clear from looking at it that this is very much a first generation product, and you would hope that Samsung or Huawei or whoever else could come up with something a little more elegant. Nevertheless, you can buy the Royole FlexPai right now, with the developer model costing $1,318 for the 128GB variant or $1,469 for 256GB — shipping is scheduled for late December.