We don’t often cover smartphone news here at Play3r but this is a biggie… after months of leaks surrounding Samsung releasing a foldable tablet/smartphone but nothing concrete coming from the company we were blindsided this morning when news of the Royole FlexPai arrived in our inbox.
Having heard nothing at all previously about this being on the horizon it’s a little hard to accept at face value, especially since we have not had the opportunity to see a working model either up close or at trade shows. That said, if we accept that it’s genuine then aside from it looking somewhat bulky when folded it is still more portable than the usual tablet format and promises flagship performance in addition to the extra features provided by this unusual design.
We look forward to seeing it in the wild once orders start to be distributed from December 2018, although they’re starting with the Chinese market before moving into Europe (and I would expect the rest of the world) so either way we will have to wait a while longer and it remains to be seen whether Samsung can get their unannounced model to the shops first. You can pre-order the Developer Edition from the product website for around $1500 for the 256GB version, no news on the price or release date of the consumer device.
The full press release from Royole is below…
Royole Introduces ‘FlexPai’, the World’s First Commercial Foldable Smartphone With a Fully Flexible Display, A Combination of Mobile Phone and Tablet
Based on the Company’s Highly Innovative Flexible+ Platform,
Royole Takes Mobile Digital Communications from Science Fiction to Reality
Fremont, CA, November 1, 2018 – Royole Corporation, a leading innovator and manufacturer of next-generation human-machine interface technologies and products including advanced flexible displays, flexible sensors, and smart devices, has introduced the world’s first commercial foldable smartphone, a combination of mobile phone and tablet with a flexible screen, the Royole FlexPai. Disrupting consumers’ traditional concept of a smartphone, the unit can be used either folded or unfolded, giving it the portability of a smartphone plus the screen size of a high-definition tablet.
“The Royole FlexPai foldable smartphone provides mobile phone users with a revolutionary, different experience compared to traditional phones,” stated Dr. Bill Liu, Royole founder and CEO. “It perfectly solves the contradiction between the high-definition large-screen experience and portability, which introduces a whole new dimension to the human-machine interface. The phone’s inherent design will forever change the consumer electronics industry, as well as the way people interact with and perceive their world.”
Continuing Royole’s tradition of combining art and technology in its products, the FlexPai is elegantly designed with multiple form factors. When unfolded, FlexPai supports split-screen mode and multi-tasking; supports drag-and-drop across applications, enabling it to share features just as a computer does; automatically adjusts screen sizes; and provides enjoyable video-watching and gaming experiences.
When folded, FlexPai can support dual screens with separate, simultaneous operations. 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.
The FlexPai’s screen is one complete, fully flexible display with light, thin, colorful, and bendable features. Using Royole’s innovative and proprietary technologies ensures the FlexPai’s stability, reliability, and long life span, which have been fully verified by the company. FlexPai has passed bending, twisting, and tension tests over 200,000 times. The FlexPai can also be folded at different angles. On the software side, its unique Water OS automatically adapts different viewing modes for different folding angles and user scenarios, such as taking photos, office usage, video watching, gaming, and more.
FlexPai uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8-series flagship SoC, integrating the most powerful AI and most advanced chip process technology. Its camera set-up is made up of a 20-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens, that can be used for both normal photo shooting or taking a selfie, thanks to the dual view camera 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. A more complete product feature list can be found on Royole’s website.
Kevin Kelly, ‘Internet Prophet’ and founding editor of the highly popular technology magazine Wired, had this to say about the future of the flexible industry and Royole’s role in it. “Take the technology of Royole… Every surface is going to be a screen. The way that we’re going to create a smart environment, a smart world, and the way we’re going to interact with it, is through screens. The screens are the communication of that world to me. Royole’s FlexPai flexible screen represents the new era of the screen as the center of our culture.”
The FlexPai is based on Royole’s Flexible+ platform, which can be easily integrated into a variety of products and applications across numerous industries. The Flexible+ platform put Royole in a leadership position in today’s ever-evolving technology space. It has forever changed the way humans interact with the world around them and the ways in which they view entertainment and information content.
Flexible Display Technology
Royole’s patented flexible displays are thin, lightweight, and bendable, creating unique functionality and new applications. They feature high-resolution and high-color saturation for stunning image clarity and quality. Royole’s flexible displays are produced at the company’s new quasi-G6 mass production campus in Shenzhen, China, a 100% self-designed, R&D and manufacturing facility with a total investment of around $1.7B. Production capability exceeds 50-million fully flexible display units per year.
Flexible Sensor Technology
Royole has also developed and mass produced flexible sensor technology that delivers high-precision, linearity, and sensitivity. The company is well known for its ability to provide customers with diverse products and solutions, fast turnaround time, short production cycles, large-volume production capabilities, and low costs. Royole sensors are fully compatible with flexible and traditional applications and deliver a bending radius of just 1-3mm that is operational even after 200,000 bends.
During the global product launch, Dr. Bill Liu announced Royole’s “Global Developer Support Project”. The company will use (USD) $30 million to support and reward global software developers to develop a variety of new apps for FlexPai. More information can be found on the company’s website.
Royole announced that a developer model of its new FlexPai smartphone will be available to order globally beginning at 7:00pm PST on October 31, 2018 from the company’s website. The consumer model will be available at the same time to Chinese consumers as Chinese carriers will be supported initially, with European carriers to follow. Order fulfillment will start in late December, 2018.
Click here for more information on the FlexPai: www.royole.com/flexpai
Watch a short video on the FlexPai here: http://youtu.be/ZjdGhHLQIH4?a
About Royole Corporation
Founded by Stanford engineering graduates in 2012, Royole’s mission is to improve the way people interact with and perceive their world. The company creates and manufactures next-generation human-machine interface technologies and products including advanced flexible displays, flexible sensors, and smart devices. Technology milestones include the world’s thinnest full-color AMOLED flexible displays and flexible sensors (2014), the world’s first foldable 3D mobile theater (2015), the world’s first curved car dashboard based on flexible electronics (2016), the first smart writing pad, RoWrite, based on flexible sensors (2017), and the volume production of Royole’s quasi-G6 mass production campus for fully flexible displays (2018).
Royole has received numerous global awards for its technological innovations and fast growth. Holding over 2000 IPs, it provides IP licenses, services, mass production, and solutions for flexible electronics applications with its novel “Flexible+” platform. Royole, backed by leaders in global finance, has begun producing fully flexible displays in volume from its 1.1-million-square-foot quasi-G6 mass production campus in Shenzhen, China with a total investment of $1.7B. Royole has offices in Fremont, CA, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen, China. For more information, please visit: www.royole.com.