By: Nick Gambino
Royole has the distinguished honor of being the first company to produce a foldable smartphone. Unfortunately, that first foldable phone, the FlexPai, left something to be desired. That miss created a space for Samsung to swoop in and create a superior folding phone.
Now, the OG foldable phone company has created a phone worthy of being released to the public. The FlexPai 2 is a huge improvement over the original that appeared at CES back in 2018. For one, they seem to have solved the subpar hinge that made the first one so clunky, or at least improved on it.
“The structure of the hinge is stable and shockproof, providing the great protection for the screen,” a press packet for the FlexPai 2 states. “It has more than 200 precision components with 0.01 mm processing accuracy. The hinge technology holds around 200 patents and solved many issues seen in other foldable smartphones.”
The new foldable still features a design whereby it looks like a tablet but folds into a phone half its size. The thing that sets Royole’s phone apart from the competition is their decision to have the screen fold outwards. In other words, it doesn’t close up and protect the screen. They did however manage to make this newest generation phone 40% thinner than its predecessor.
Unfortunately, reports say that the hinge is still obvious when swiping across the unfolded screen. This is nonoptimal, especially when paying north of $1,000 for the phone.
The FlexPai 2 is significantly cheaper than other foldables on the market. This is perhaps its biggest selling point. For some reason, these phones come with a hefty price tag, making it a difficult sell. I know they cost more to manufacture but selling them for $2,000 will hardly attract the average consumer.
Right now, it’s only available in China, but the company says their eyeing an international release in early 2021. Hopefully they manage to keep the cost down when it becomes available in the U.S. Then again, they could sell it for $300, and it would still be a tough sell to the general public. I’m not convinced the folding craze is anything but a novelty.