It might not have attracted the same number of headlines as the Samsung Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate X, but the Royole FlexPai was the first foldable phone to hit the market towards the end of 2018. Now the Chinese company is back with a sequel.
The Royole FlexPai 2 brings with it an improved display boasting higher brightness levels and a wider color gamut, as well as better touch response. The phone also gets a speed boost over its predecessor, courtesy of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (the flagship CPU for Android phones this year).
Also of note is the upgraded hinge – crucial to any folding phone – which Royole says is 40 percent thinner than the first model. Made from aluminum titanium alloy and other materials, it should offer a smoother and more reliable folding experience, featuring some 200 separate components in total.
The “truly gapless” fold mechanism is going to be good for at least 1.8 million bends, according to Royole’s testing – surely enough for even the most active smartphone users. The hinge can stay in any position too, which is handy for propping up the phone to watch movies and play games.
Unlike Samsung’s foldables, the FlexPai 2 follows the original FlexPai in folding outwards, so the main 7.8-inch, 1,920 x 1,440 pixel panel ends up on the outside (forming a front and back screen) when the handset is closed up. That means you can keep on running your apps, but it does also make the device more vulnerable to damage.
Down the side of the unfolded screen we’ve got a quad-lens 64-MP main + 16-MP ultrawide + 8-MP telephoto + 32-MP portrait camera, though Royole hasn’t said what sort of zoom levels it can reach. The phone comes with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage or 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, and rounding out the specs we’ve got a 4,450-mAh battery and support for 5G.
The phone comes with the waterOS 2 software that’s based on Android 10: it can intelligently split apps across the display if you don’t want to run them full screen, and it supports drag and drop between apps for an enhanced multitasking experience.
Black, silver and gold are your color choices, and the phone is on sale now for 9,988 Chinese Yuan. That works out as about US$1,470 – actually quite affordable in foldable device terms – but as yet there’s no word on international availability (the first FlexPai ended up being a China-only affair).
Product page: Royole FlexPai 2
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