The world’s first real foldable phone is rough around the edges – Engadget

Gallery: Royole FlexPai hands-on at CES 2019 | 26 Photos


For those who haven’t been keeping track, the FlexPai packs a Snapdragon 855 chipset (since it’s already on sale, this probably counts as the world’s first commercially available 855 phone), either 6 or 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage and 16MP+20MP dual camera. Oh, and it even runs Android 9.0 Pie (albeit a version loaded with plenty of tweaks to make tablet mode work).On paper, that’s enough to put the FlexPai squarely in flagship territory, but who are we kidding? All that really matters there is the 7.8-inch AMOLED display that folds in half to form a usable — if kind of unwieldy — smartphone. All told, it doesn’t get much more bleeding edge than this.

This isn’t the first time the FlexPai has broken cover — it went on a world tour of sorts in late 2018. The difference is, the device wasn’t quite ready for production back then, and it definitely showed. At CES, though, the company is showing off production models that actually work pretty well. There’s a very specific kind of joy that manifests when you unfold a phone into a tiny tablet, and during our hands-on time with the thing, I found myself opening and closing often just because I could. (In fairness, I did the same with the decidedly non-flexible Axon M.)

The FlexPai’s novelty is almost intoxicating, and in an era where samey-same devices are impossible to avoid, there’s something to be said for pushing envelopes. It’s a tablet! It’s a phone! At the same time! What’s not to like?

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