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The first ever foldable display smartphone arrives, but not from Samsung or Huawei: Royole FlexPai

FlexPai ( Image from royole.com)
        The newest trend of smartphones(or may be the tablets) has arrived in the name of "Foldable smart devices". Samsung and Huawei were in the race with promises to launch the foldable devices near the end of 2018. But they both have failed to be the first one as the first ever foldable smart device has come out from a small display manufacturing company from China, named the Royole Technology (also known as Rouyu). The company has launched the product in China on 31st October, 2018.
FlexPai rear panel

Design and Display:


         The foldable devices have now been a reality and the device is truly foldable from 0-180°, where the folded one gives a 4" display and you can get a 7.8" screen after expanding it. The device has three separate parts on the rear side. One of them has a glass panel and contains the battery and processor. In the middle it has the flexible frame to fold the device along with its display and finally the last part with smaller display and all the sensors and cameras. So you can use the device both as a smartphone or a tablet. The screen contains a Full HD+ AMOLED panel that gives the 4:3 aspect ratio when not folded with 7.8" screen size having resolution 1440x1920 and 308 PPI pixel density. It has 3 split screens when folded having aspect ratios 4:3, 16:9 and 18:9. It also has 21:9 aspect ratio on the edge for notifications and calls so that you don't face any disturbance while using the device.
Image from royole.com
When folded, three screens (primary, secondary and edge) are available with the following aspect ratios and resolutions (primary = 16:9/810x1440, secondary = 18:9/720x1440, edge = 21:6/390x1440)
         The company claims, "FlexPai's screen is virtually unbreakable and extremely durable passing tests where the screen has been bent over 200,000 times. Its screen provides fantastic color range, high contrast, wide angle, and high-resolution for outstanding picture quality." on its official site.
FlexPai fullview ( Image from royole.com)

Performance:

         The FlexPai will have the power of Qualcomm's latest flagship processor which is the Snapdragon 855 (also known as Snapdragon 8150). The particular chipset is not launched yet but Qualcomm may launch it very soon (within the remaining 2018) as many other phones also are already claiming that they will feature the latest processor of the company. This is the first 7nm octa core based CPU from Qualcomm clocked at 2.8 GHz and the successor for the sd845. The GPU here will be the Adreno A640 for graphics processing. We don't have much details about the chip as it is not launched yet. But one thing is confirmed that it will be the most powerful Soc from Qualcomm till now. The device will run the Water OS 1.0 based on latest Android 9.0 (Pie) that will help it to manage the 3 different screens when folded.

Cameras:

         The optics section will also be interesting in the newest technology as the foldable device will not feature any front facing camera but still you can see the camera lenses while looking at the screen. The FlexPai will have a dual camera setup on the side panel of the screen and those two will work as both rear and front cameras.
Flexpie camera, dual view camera mode
Dual view camera mode ( Image from royole.com)

One of them will have a 16 MP lens as primary camera and other one will feature a 20 MP lens as secondary solution. The primary one will have the wide angle feature and on the hand, the 20 MP sensor will help to take optically zoomed images by working as a telephoto lens. The cameras will have LED flash and OIS support. While using the device in the folded state both the screens will show the object being captured by the lens so that selfies or portraits both can be shot easily.
          As the company states, "In Dual View Camera Mode, the object of your photo is visible from each screen when folded. Whether it’s a selfie, portrait or candid photo, you or your subject can use FlexPai's screens to make sure the pose is perfect before the image is snapped. Eliminate multiple shots by getting it right the first time."

Variants and pricing:

          The pricing of the FlexPai will be quite high as the first arriving of the technology. The FlexPai has three different ram and storage options to offer the consumers. There will be the 6/128, 8/256 and 8/512 GB models. The storage can also be expanded according to the consumers usage upto 256GB. The Chinese pricing of the product states that the base variant will be close to the pricing of the new iPhone XS of 2018 and the higher variant will reach the iPhone XR. But, as a innovative technology people will be happy to get something new in their hands instead of the same old iPhone models with new names. The device is available for pre-order on its official site from 1st of November onwards and will be start delivering in December, according to the company.

Battery and others:

          The battery here can disappoint the consumers as the FlexPai, as a tablet, is not expected to come with the 3850 maH battery which is less than many smartphones of nowadays. But again we have to keep in mind the technology which is bending the phone to half of its size which means the battery will be included only in one of the two sides. The FlexPai has all the other features like WLAN, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS and other necessary sensors. It will have the type C port with fast charging support but no 3.5 mm headphone jack. The company, Royole,has introduced here its own Ro-charge technology (with 5V/5A output) which, according to them, will charge a 6000 maH battery to 80% in 1 hour of time interval. That sounds really nice and have to see how real is that. And if this is true, it will be the fastest charging solution for smartphone batteries. It will also have the Fingerprint ID option in it.

          At last we can conclude the price for the device is totally worth it, as we can see with the newest technology, the company has also not done any compromises either with sensors, cameras, charging solution or the other specs. So a complete package with the newest technology is ready and you can now experience the future by holding it in your hands.

Also check: 1. Sliding camera phones: Is this the real future of smartphones or just a feature to show off

                     2. Lenovo S5 Pro: Cheapest smartphone to come with hardware based face unlock

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