Foldable phone launched by Chinese company Royole

First foldable phone launched, seems as awful as it is expensive

In the United States, only the 128GB and 256GB models are available for preorder, priced at $1,318 and $1,469, respectively.

The Flexpai comes with a foldable body and a display that sits on the outside when folded (rather than Microsoft's Andromeda, where the screen folds inwards). The camera that comes with the device is 16MP + 20MP, which comes with image stabilization.

It's unclear whether this folding smartphone will enjoy a worldwide launch, or be limited to China.

We're nearly sick of hearing rumors about a supposed Samsung phone with a folding screen, and even Huawei is reportedly working on something similar. Deliveries will begin in late December.

The launch has caught many industry watchers by surprise. We had expected either Samsung or LG or even Huawei to be the first to release a model.

Like most modern smartphones, a USB-C port is found on the device along with a MicroSD slot, stereo speakers, 3800mAh battery and it also uses fingerprint ID. A Twitter video seemingly published from a convention showed off the FlexPai in action.

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The Royole FlexPai is a smartphone and tablet combo (phablet - is that still a thing?) with a flexible screen so you can use it folded to give you the portability of a smartphone or use it at full screen-size to give you the interface of a tablet.

"Royole gets the bragging rights to being first, and it's quite astonishing that someone you've never heard of is doing this", said Carolina Milanesi, from the Creative Strategies consultancy. A previous report said the phone also packs a next-gen Snapdragon 8150 processor, although that detail isn't mentioned on the website.

"What's great is that it's putting this into the hands of developers, who will be able to start the legwork that will result in apps for flexible devices that will eventually be sold by Samsung and whoever else". In the future where designs are thinner and everything runs smoothly, would you consider picking up a foldable device like this?

She added that Royole might ultimately become an acquisition target for one of the mainstream consumer electronics brands.

"The FlexPai is probably another stunt". Expect the first one this summer, others say.

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