The first foldable smartphone is here with a 7.8-inch display, $1300 price tag


The world’s first foldable smartphone is here and, before you ask, no – the device isn’t made by Samsung or LG. In actual fact, it’s produced by a small California-based company and is called the Royole FlexPai.

The brand itself describes the product as the “world’s first commercial foldable smartphone,” but in actual fact, it looks more like a tablet – when unfolded the screen measures 7.8-inches, although this does drop to just 4-inches when folded. The display itself is also produced by Royole and is of an AMOLED nature. The company has paired this with Android 9 Pie straight out of the box complete with its own UI, dubbed Water OS, on top. This custom overlay adapts according to how the device is being used – as soon as it’s folded in half, it switches to a smartphone-like UI.

While the smartphone’s main focus is its display, the spec sheet is rather impressive too. Nowadays, most flagships that aren’t produced by Apple or Huawei come running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845. This model, however, takes things a step further by supposedly utilizing the next-generation Snapdragon 8150 that is yet to be officially unveiled by Qualcomm. The processor is then paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the base model, although those willing to spend a little extra can purchase a version with 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 515GB of internal storage. In either case, the latter figure is expandable via microSDs of up to 256GB.

Over in the camera department, a main 16-megapixel sensor can be found next to the display alongside a secondary 20-megapixel sensor that sports a telephoto lens. When unfolded, it can be used as a selfie camera, and when the hinge is in use it can be used as a rear camera. Speaking of the hinge, Royole claims it can be used over 200,000 times.
The device’s setup is complete by a USB Type-C port – it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack – and a 3,800mAh battery that can be charged with the included Ro-Charge fast charger. This allows the cell to go from 0% to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Pre-orders for the product start today in China at a cost of $1,290, $1435, and $1865 for the respective models. It’s unclear if or when Royole will bring this device to the United States, but shipments of the foldable smartphone are expected to begin in December.


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32 Comments

1. tangbunna

Posts: 474; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

hey, who still compliant about their phone's thickness? show up!!!

2. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2146; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Exactly! It defeats the purpose of portability and sleekness. No thanks! I would rather try and carry an iPad Mini in my pocket than this.

3. gamehead unregistered

Oh lordy. These are the prices I can expect from bendable phones?

16. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 926; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Wait till you see Apples!

30. KakashiHatake4444

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 30, 2018

Loool

4. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Battery ain't gonna cut it

5. JocularJ

Posts: 221; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

So a California-based company may not ship to the US?

7. Subie

Posts: 2350; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

There could be U.S. patent infringements with some of the design of this device that have no jurisdiction in China. Just a thought...

17. TrumpsRuinedAmerica

Posts: 116; Member since: Dec 31, 2017

Easier to scam people overseas than back home.

21. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

They may be worried about having a 25% tariff put in their phone.

6. monkeyb

Posts: 409; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

I do not care how expensive these phones are: - I cannot afford them anyways. I just want to see new technology come out. - In 2 years after the first foldable phone. The prices will go down anyways. - This is the first interesting tech in a long long time. So tech lovers rejoice.

8. OneLove123

Posts: 968; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Getting one.

9. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2146; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Android phones will sell less and less anything north of $1000. Only Apple and few other vendors can charge this type of money. The first thing companies is establish with the customer is branding and support. Without this it will be difficult seeing the value of a $1000 Android phone. Every Android company is looking to one up by features or one by lowering price. That is only long lasting chance they have to compete. Thus dog eat dog.

18. cmdacos

Posts: 4099; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

This is alphabet soup.

10. panrt321

Posts: 100; Member since: Aug 23, 2018

I wait on LG and Samsung with better design etc.

11. Venom

Posts: 3401; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

This is what they are working on? Smh I don't need a folding phone. How about advancements in battery technology or security? This is just a useless gimmick.

12. LEEDAQ

Posts: 173; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

I don’t see how this foldable display benefits day to day use

13. FlareKilla25

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 18, 2018

That's some thick ass bezels

14. TechGirl90 unregistered

For a price like that, it better bend reality! LOL!

15. foldablephone

Posts: 57; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I’ve been telling people for a while that this day was coming. 2019 will be all about the foldables

26. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

You don't have to tell anyone. Everyone knew it long before.

19. cmdacos

Posts: 4099; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Not seeing the value for me but then again, an upstart isn't going to necessarily know what the selling point is. So far it's a no for me

20. Nionx

Posts: 196; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

Peculiar and peculiar

22. odachek

Posts: 117; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Video is so fake with "glassy" look on the plastic screen, actual fact is that the screen is a fingerprint magnet which can be very greasy when over use.

23. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

I’ll Wait till apple produce one. It doesn’t look elegant.

24. CableTelcontar

Posts: 90; Member since: Nov 19, 2014

A device that unfolds from phone form factor to tablet form factor is my holy grail. But I don't think this one is it. Available in December and no live shots of the device for its advert? Naaaa.

25. bokimaricu

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

No, it's not here and this is probably the same s**t as Faraday future electric car, yes the one that never happened. It will ship with the new snapdragon which isn't even announced? Smells like the Turing phone, imaginary specs and flashy renders that never happened as well.

27. alligator

Posts: 94; Member since: Jan 09, 2016

I'm pretty sure that the first Sd 8150 is for Samsung S10. No one will release anything with this chip before March 2019. It would be interesting to see how a case can cover such phone, as there are a lot of surfaces which have to be covered, not only the back.

28. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

They didn't even show the real working unit, just showing 3D render of it, probably just vaporware, and they didn't even sure what SoC they're using, their site just saying "FlexPai uses Qualcomm's next-gen Snapdragon 8 series SoC" 7.8inch screen and 3800mAh battery looks like a bad combination.

29. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"when unfolded the screen measures 7.8-inches, although this does drop to just 4-inches when folded" That's not how math work, I'm guessing around 5.6-5.7 inch of visible area when folded, and around 5.3-5.4 inch excluding side curved part . (If someone have freetime, please do the math, lol..)

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