Royole, a Chinese OEM launched the world's first true foldable Smartphone that consumers can actually purchase. Many OEMs in the past have teased the foldable display technology including the likes from Samsung, LG & Lenovo but all the devices so far were prototypes and not the actual product.
Dubbed the "Royole FlexPai", it's the company's first smartphone and the world's first flexible smartphone. The tech company took the Smartphone Market by storm when it announced the device on October 31st in a launch event in China. Royole's FlexPai boasts top of the line flagship hardware which we have come to expect from most smartphone companies. Let's talk about the device in detail.
The Foldable Screen
The tablet comes with a 7.8" FHD+ resolution (1920 x 1440) with a 4:3 aspect ratio. When folded the tablet takes the shape of a smartphone and the resolution changes to 810x1440 with 16:9 ratio on the primary screen, 720x1440 with 18:9 on Secondary display & 390x1440 with 21:6 aspect ration on the edge. According to Royole, the display is "virtually" unbreakable as it can sustain over 200,000 folds which are more than enough for years to come. The display can be folded completely by 180° which convert the large tablet into a Smartphone.
Coming to Water OS, its the custom user interface from Royole based on Android 9.0 Pie. Just like all other OEMs which have a custom skin on top of Android, Water OS was specially developed to work in relation to the foldable screen. It boasts many features which can be found in other Chinese Android Skins too like Homescreen Apps, Dual Apps, Gaming Mode & other various tweaks to name a few. This OS is based on the latest version of Android, Android Pie 9.0
Performance and Battery
The tablet comes with a yet to be announced Snapdragon 8150 processor from Qualcomm and with varying RAM and Storage configurations. The exact version is unknown at the moment but we expect it to run on SD855 from Qualcomm which is based on the new 7nm Finfet process and 5G capable. Royole has also said on its product page that the devices are upgradable to 5G but as of right now there are no network carriers which support 5G.
The device comes equipped with a 3800 mAh battery to power the 7.8" FHD+ display. We have USB Type C on board and also Royole's proprietary fast charging technology called RO-Fast Charge. The company has promised that the device can charge 80% of the battery in just under 60 minutes.
Coming to the Photography and Videography section, the Royole FlexPai comes equipped with a (f/1.8) 20MP Telephoto lens and a (f/1.8) 16MP wide-angle lens dual real camera set up accompanied by the dual colour LEDs. The device has to be folded in order to take rear camera shots.
The Edge Display
Upon folding the display on the device extra screen space becomes an edge screen just like the Samsung Galaxy S9 series of Smartphones. Thanks to Water OS the edge functions pretty much the same as we have seen on the earlier note devices. Notifications take up the required space and prevent interruptions on the primary screen. Apart from this, the edge can be customised with the help of the operating system and can further increase the productivity of such a small screen.
Face ID is built into the device for added security along with Fingerprint ID support. So security shouldn't be an issue on this one.
Availability and Pricing
The device will go on sale in China starting on 1st November. There will be three flash sales for the device and shipping will start by the end of December.
- 6GB RAM + 128GB Storage : 8999 yuan
- 8GB RAM + 256GB Storage: 9998 yuan
- 8GB RAM + 512GB Storage: 12999 yuan
As this is the first iteration of such a product there will be a few issues with it. As more and more OEMs jump onto this trend we may see promising results. Are you excited to see OEMs take a big leap in terms of tech hardware? What's your opinion on the matter? Do let us know in the comments below.