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article imageWorld’s first flexible smartphone launched

By Tim Sandle     Nov 18, 2018 in Technology
Royole Corp., a flexible display manufacturing startup, has launched the world’s first flexible smartphone, beating rivals Apple and Samsung in the race for the first mobile device based on flexible electronics.
The new device is called the FlexPai, and the smartphone device builds upon Royole's earlier prototypes. The device is described as a second-generation model and it has a flexible full-colour OLED display. The unique feature is that the device can be used folded or unfolded, maintaining smartphone functionality.
The company was formed in Silicon Valley, Shenzhen and Hong Kong in 2012, producing its first model in 2017. During the same year, the Royole Corporation announced it has raised a total of $800 Million in a series D round of funding.
The FlexPai is built with the 7nm Snapdragon 8150 from Qualcomm and it comes with a 7.8-inch diagonal screen, boasting a resolution of 1,920 by 1,440 at 308 pixels-per-inch. This is a virtually unbreakable AMOLED display, according to The Verge. The smartphone comes with twin cameras. One camera is a 20-megapixel telephoto camera, which enables distant shots. The second camera is a 16-megapixel wide angel camera. The second camera is designed for selfie-taking.
With the operating software, the device runs off Water OS, which is built upon Android 9 Pie. The modification allows the smartphone to switch apps between different display modes and through different orientations.
When folded the device has a third screen, which is an edge screen which has a resolution of 390 by1440 pixels. This screen is used to show notifications of device calls, text messages, emails and social media updates.
In terms of testing just how flexible the smartphone is, the device has been shown to have an endurance of 200,000 bends, made at a radius of 3 millimetres, as demonstrated through multiple tests.
How popular the device will be remains to be seen. EE Europe notes that the device still resembles a test model, rather than a polished model or one that could be used by other companies as the basis for development. The expected retail price is not cheap, either, going for $1,318 – and this is for the lowest cost memory configuration at 128GB of storage. Storage can be increased for an additional $150. The device will be available from December 2018 on both China and U.S.
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