Royole launches next-gen foldable phone for nearly $1500 - CNET

Screenshot by Sareena Dayaram/CNET Chinese phone-maker Royole put itself on the map when it beat Samsung and

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Screenshot by Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Chinese phone-maker Royole put itself on the map when it beat Samsung and Huawei to the punch in releasing the world's first foldable phone last year. Nevermind that it was a spectacular failure. Today, the company launched a next-generation version of that phone, the Flexpai 2, during an online event streamed from Shenzhen, China.

Royole's latest foldable, which opens and shuts like a book, extends into a 7.8-inch screen when it's outward-facing flexible screen is unfurled. It also has the newest Snapdragon 865 chipset, a 4,450 mAh battery, a quad-camera module, and 5G capability for nine different bands covering regions including the US, Europe and China, according to Bill Liu, CEO of Royole. 

Compared to its predecessor, the Flexpai 2 has a 40 percent thinner and lighter design, Liu said. The Flexpai 2 measures about 0.24 inches thick when flat, and about half an inch folded, which seems to be slightly thinner than Samsung's Galaxy Fold 2. 

One of the key upgrades, according to the company, was made to its hinge, which runs along the back of the device. Royole claims the wearproof and "mechanically robust" hinge can withstand 1.8 million folds. CNET has not been able to verify those claims.


Royole's says its Flexpai 2 lets you do three different tasks at one due its to multi-window support.

Screenshot by Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The original FlexPai, which was unveiled at CES 2019, has a bendable 7.8-inch AMOLED screen made of flexible plastic and a 1440p resolution. But the foldable drew widespread criticism for its a clunky, prototype-like design, buggy software and an unimpressive user interface. Royale says it has fixed the issues that plagued the first-gen foldable. Since its launch, the original FlexPai has mostly been forgotten due to stiff competition from foldable phone rivals such as the Motorola Razr, Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate XS. 

Backed up by 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, the Flexpai 2 is available on available on Royole's website  for 9,999 yuan, (converts to ~ $1,470, £1,150 AU$ 2,040, pounds). International release details were not shared. It will run on Android-based Water OS 2.0 has multi-window support, allowing you to split screens across several apps and drag and drop between them. 

Key Specs

  • Processor: Snapdragon 865
  • Display: 7.8-inch flexible OLED display
  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,440 pixels
  • Cameras: 64 megapixel (main), 32-megapixel (selfie portrait), 8-megapixel  telephoto, ultra wide camera (116 field of view)
  • Battery: 4,450 mAH
  • Software: Android 10
  • UFS 3.0 storage
  • Dual speakers
  • 5G capability
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