Phones with foldable screens have felt like they’re on the cusp of arriving for years, but outside of a couple of concept designs and trailers, we have yet to see one receive a proper release. However, Royole Corporation could be about to win the race with the FlexPai, a tablet-sized phone that can be bent into a shape the size of a small paperback book.
Before you get your hopes up that the era of foldable smartphones is finally upon us, you should watch the below video featuring the device. It looks early, to say the very least. For one thing, the phone doesn’t fold flat, so it ends up pretty bulky when packed away. The software also appears to get confused when the phone’s screen is bent, with the display flashing a couple of times before picking an orientation.
Internally, the device features a Snapdragon 8-series chipset, and ITHome (via GizmoChina) suggests prices will start at ¥8,999 (around $1,290) for a model equipped with 6GB of RAM. Pre-orders will open on October 31st, with orders planning to ship in December.
Royole’s FlexPai is due to have some pretty serious competition very soon. Samsung’s foldable smartphone is set to be making an appearance next week at its yearly developer conference, and both LG and Huawei are reportedly developing foldable handsets of their own. It really feels like we’re on the cusp of these devices actually releasing, but then, it’s felt like that for a while.
Update October 31st, 1:00PM ET: Post updated with Royole’s American trading name and official press images.