MANILA, Philippines – Samsung this week teased the reveal of its long-awaited foldable smartphone ahead of its annual developer conference but a California-based startup has beaten it to the punch.
Enter Royole’s FlexPai, now technically the world’s first foldable smartphone. The smartphone-tablet hybrid was first unveiled to journalists at an event in San Francisco, Monday, November 5, US time (Tuesday, November 6, Philippine time).
According to The Verge, who got hands-on time with the device, the FlexPai boasts a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen that can fold 180 degrees, transforming it from tablet to smartphone. Here are photos:
The device can be folded 200,000 times which is enough to last years of heavy use. Anything beyond that number is not entirely clear.
Under the hood, it has an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 1920×1440 display resolution when expanded, and a 3,800mAh battery.
The Verge said that the device was very much a first-generation product. This means that it still has some quirks and issues to iron out. For instance, the orientation reportedly changes randomly and apps opened accidentally.
“Granted, it feels miles away in quality from a high-end modern flagship, but it is still the first real foldable device I’ve seen in person, and not just in a concept video or prototype stage,” Nick Statt of The Verge said.
Royole is now accepting pre-orders for the FlexPai and begin shipping as early as the end of the year. The 6GB RAM and 128GB storage model costs $1,318 while the 8GB RAM and 256GB storage model costs $1,469.
The ball is now in Samsung’s court as they are expected to pull the curtains on their own foldable smartphone on November 7, US time. – Rappler.com