Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Royole unveils Flexpai foldable, three-screen smartphone

Royole unveils Flexpai foldable, three-screen smartphone

The primary screen has a resolution of 810 x 1440 with 16:9 aspect ratio, the secondary display is at 720 x 1440 and 18:9 aspect ratio, while the edge display features 390 x 1440 resolution and a 21:6 aspect ratio.

Flexible displays allow large-screened phones that can fold up to fit in a pocket.

Royole has started taking pre-orders for the phone, promising shipments in December this year.

Depending on the specifications, the phone's price ranges from 8,999 yuan (£1,005) to 12,999 yuan (£1,452) in China for either a consumer model or a developer model. This would give the user the ability to play a game on one side of the screen and do things like respond to texts or check email by flipping the device over.

But as you can see here, when the phone is bent, the software struggles for quite a bit before settling on the right orientation.

Liu has given the screen a poetic name, Cicada's Wings, to highlight its light weight, flexibility and durability. After folding it from the centre, the device offers three small screens.

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Experts previously told Wire that flexible screens were more resilient and durable than glass-fronted touchscreen displays used in most current smartphones.

You're not looking at the Microsoft Andromeda, or the flexible phone Samsung has been rumoredly working on, or Logitech's flexible phone.

Foldable screens can not be broken when they are dropped and are also lighter and cheaper to produce.

Some industry observers have questioned whether the new form factor will prove suitable for the average customer, with the FlexPai coming in at more than 50% heavier than the already hefty Note 9 and the iPhone XS Max.

Samsung may have something for us in the near future - it teased the concept of a folding phone just a couple weeks ago - but there's always the chance that the company pulls a bait and switch. The new phone would also support super-fast 5G network speeds.

Now, however, it looks like a little-known startup called Royole may be the first to come to market with a foldable phone - and the screen actually does fold. As displays have got bigger in recent years, consumers have had to sacrifice portability, and bendy screens are seen as a possible solution.

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