The folding screens for mass consumption will arrive, possibly, throughout 2019 when Samsung, LG, Huawei, and company launch their products. However, we will not have to wait until next year to know the first commercial version of a mobile phone with such technology. It has been Royole, a company specialized in the development of machine-human interfaces, the first to launch a folding device, the FlexPai.
What we see in the images is not a prototype, but rather a model destined for commercialization. It has a huge 7.8-inch screen (almost like the iPad Mini) of still unknown resolution capable of bending 180 degrees horizontally. When doing so, the panel becomes 4 inches. This has been developed by Royole, so we have a proprietary technology, and according to the company supports up to 200,000 folds.
The dimensions are unknown, but the thickness of the device is 7.8 millimeters when it is deployed. When folded, the resulting body will be more than twice as thick, surpassing the 15-millimeter barrier. As far as specifications are concerned, the FlexPai has 6 or 8 GB of RAM, the Snapdragon 8150 processor (according to Ice Universe) and between 128 and 256 GB of storage. As operating system carries Water OS, which we understand is a kind of Android fork, although the company has not mentioned anything about it.
What draws the attention is that even being a company almost unknown, the product is ready for commercialization. In fact, the company has confirmed that it will launch a version for European and North American developers. Its price, however, is not reduced. We are talking about a new and proprietary technology that pays more expensive than some of the main high-end brands such as Apple or Samsung.
The model of 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, which is the most basic, is priced at $1599, while the top model, 8 GB and 256 GB of storage, exceeds 1,500 with a price of $1799. The most expensive version, which seems a kind of special edition, has 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of ROM and its price is $1899. The date on which the channels will be offered for sale has not been confirmed.