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Royole FlexPai (2019): Everything You Need To Know

Royole FlexPai

The Pitch

Royole’s FlexPai is the foldable phone you haven’t heard of.

They don’t have the marketing muscle of Samsung, but the start-up did manage to beat the pride of South Korea to the punch when they launched their first foldable phone in early 2019. That being said, being first to market does have its downsides. The FlexPai isn’t as polished or robust as even the first-gen Galaxy Fold when it comes to both usability and durability.

The short version? The Royole FlexPai is as experimental as modern foldable smartphones get, but whether those qualities are worth the compromises is another question entirely.

The Specs

Processor: Snapdragon 855

Display: 7.8-inch AMOLED

Resolution: 1920 x 1440 pixels

RAM: 6 GB / 8 GB

ROM: 128 GB / 512 GB

Expandable Storage: Yes, Micro SD up to 256 GB

Headphone Jack: No

Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, side-mounted

Operating System: Android 9

Battery Size: 3970mAh

Rear Camera: 16-megapixel wide lens + 20-megapixel telephoto lens

Front-Facing Camera: N/A

The Reviews

While the FlexPai does have its fans, early reviews for the device suggested that Royole might have made a few compromises by bringing their first foldable to market as quickly as they did.

Stuff’s Matthew Tate found himself impressed with the device’s display, but stopped short of recommending actually buying one:

Royole will always be able to call its FlexPai the first foldable smartphone. Maybe it was worth releasing for that reason alone. And the folding display really is quite amazing, even if the software beneath isn’t up to the task. It’s also just not particularly pleasant to hold or look at.

TechRadar’s Gareth Beavis and John McCann came down harder on the device’s flaws:

Look, we know we’re come down pretty hard on the Royole FlexPai, but that’s because you shouldn’t buy it in its current state. The software is just not up to the job and needs to be improved massively before you think about buying this incredibly expensive phone.

The Verdict?

While the Royole FlexPai does hold up as something of a curiosity for tech enthusiasts, it’s not particularly easy to recommend for regular consumers.

Even if the more novel qualities of the Royole FlexPai might have held up in the years since it was released, the rest of the device sure hasn’t.

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