You put your cellphone in your back pocket but can’t sit down comfortably. You struggle to fit your tablet into your handbag (assuming there is space inside anyway). Wouldn’t it be great if you could fold it? Your prayers are about to be answered!
It seems that the future of mobile is in fact foldable. A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices. Flexpai will be the world’s first commercial smartphone/tablet (phablet) that still manages to hold on to industry-leading mobile chip technology like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series SoC. In other words, you can bend it, fold it, any way you want it.
But don’t expect it to run Android (Apple is not mentioned) – Royole has created its own operating system called Water OS that automatically adapts to different viewing modes based on how you folded the device. When unfolded, the FlexPai will support split-screen mode, multi-tasking, dual SIM cards, screen size adjustment and more.
“The interface on the primary and secondary screens can mutually interact with each other, or independently use different interfaces without interfering with one another. Users can also get notifications on the edge screen side bar, which can be used to manage calls, messages, and other notices that may disturb the primary and secondary screen usage.” It will also have a 20 megapixel telephoto lens and a 16 megapixel wide angle lens for selfie and normal photo shooting mode.
“Fast-charge is powered by the company's own Ro-Charge technology, which delivers a speed increase of 40%. Other features are also readily available on the device, including expandable storage with MicroSD, fingerprint ID, USB-C charging, stereo speakers, and more, the company says.
The Royole team subjected FlexPai to bending, twisting, and tension tests more than 200,000 times. Sounds good so you want one don’t you? But you might have to wait a little while.
The company will pour US$30 million into its ‘Developer Support Project’ to help software developers create apps for the FlexPai. FlexPai is a new start for Royole but through the 'Developer Support Project', it plans to grow the ecosystem, enabling consumers to experience their favorite apps in a new way, according to Bill Liu, Royole’s CEO.
Will it be available in New Zealand? The FlexPai developer model is available to order worldwide, however Royole only mentions that the consumer model will be available to Chinese consumers. Royole expects to start fulfilling orders in late December 2018.