The Royole FlexPai 2 is the follow-up to the first foldable phone to be publicly revealed as a functional version of the concept.
It fixes most of the flaws of the original, which felt more like a show floor concept device than the market-ready foldables that followed. And while the FlexPai 2 is far more of a polished device consumers would want to buy, it’s been surpassed by several other foldables which went on sale in more regions first.
The original FlexPai beat the Samsung Galaxy Fold to the finish line when it was revealed at CES 2019, but two rounds of Samsung and Huawei foldables each have launched before we got Royole’s follow-up. And we won’t get it – consumers in the US, UK, Australia, India, and elsewhere anyway – as Royole does not have plans to sell the FlexPai 2 outside China (much like the original FlexPai).
Thus, it’s not quite fair to stack the FlexPai 2 against foldable phones that can be bought globally. We’ve used the phone for a few days now, and we’ll walk you through what it’s like to use and carry around.
What does a wallet-sized foldable feel like?
What does the FlexPai 2 feel like? Wide, dense, and comfortable in hand – which is not what I expected now that Samsung and Huawei have saturated the market with tall and narrow phones that unfold into tablet-sized screens. Royole’s foldable feels more wallet-sized and fits nicely in pockets.
As a result, its shape and weight – noticeably wider than any standard phone, and twice as heavy – feels far less ungainly than ‘tall’ foldables like the Galaxy Fold that aren’t easy to use one-handed.
Not that the FlexPai 2 is as feasible to use one-handed – your thumb won’t reach across the display nearly as easily as on thinner small-format phones like the iPhone 12 mini – but it’s a lot less unwieldy with its squat form factor. The ‘main’ (right side) of the wraparound display is 5.5 inches, while the left side is 5.4 inches considering the vertical camera strip and the ‘Smart Touch Control area,’ a capacitive button that has few but crucial uses (more on that later). More