FlexPai Phone - The First Handset With Foldable Screen
A decade after the debut iPhone all but killed the flip phone, a little-known tech firm has unveiled what it claims is the first foldable handset.
The FlexPai - formally announced by the Royole Corporation in Beijing - claims to be a "virtually unbreakable and extremely durable" screen, which can be bent more than 200,000 times.
The California-based company says the phone can be folded up like a wallet to then display three separate smaller screens on the front, the back and along the spine - the latter of which will show notifications.
Its 7.8in (19.8cm) display resembles more of a tablet when fully unfolded, the tech company said.
However some industry observers have questioned whether the average customer will be keen to use it as it is more than 50% heavier than the already hefty Note 9 and the iPhone XS Max.
The Verge reports that folding it up also makes it significantly bulkier than both of those phones.
Royole, which was founded by Stanford engineering graduates in 2012, said the FlexPai is also kitted out with a Snapdragon 8-series chip to make it faster, two cameras, and its own Android-based operating system called Water.
The phone will be released in December, ahead of Samsung which is reportedly going to launch its own foldable screen technology.
The South Korean tech giant will reportedly reveal its own version at an event in San Francisco next week, but it is not understood to be ready to put such a product on sale.
Other manufacturers such as Apple and LG are said to be even further behind in the development of their own takes on the format.
FlexPai is available for pre-order on the Royole website, priced at $1,318 (£1,021) for the 128GB storage model and $1,469 (£1,138) for one coming in at 256GB.
That makes it more expensive than the base models of the recently released iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
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