Royole FlexPai: World’s first folding smartphone launches at CES

Royole's FlexPai is now on sale

Royole FlexPai: World's first folding smartphone
Royole FlexPai: World's first folding smartphone

We knew that Royle’s FlexPai was coming, as the handset was announced last year for the Chinese market. But at CES 2019 the company announced more widespread availability.

The phone is being demonstrated on the show floor, but we got a look at it in the hands of a man wearing a hat that featured a curved LCD screen – very apt indeed.

It seems likely that the phone will have a fairly beefy spec. It’s rumoured to have Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 processor and a couple of different memory options – 6GB and 8GB.

The folding screen is, obviously, the main event here. How the phone performs remains to be seen, but the idea itself and the execution seems solid.

Royole has tested the folding mechanism and says it’s good for 200,000 articulations. That should see most people through the normal life of the device without problems.

The device itself has been one of the big hits of CES. Many people were gathered around the demonstration unit trying to get a glimpse of the phone and there’s a lot of excitement for a device that has beaten Samsung and others to the market.

While the folding screen on the FlexPai is far from perfect, it’s certainly proof that this technology is viable and we should see it evolve quickly from now on.

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By Ian Morris