Even though many doubted the success of foldable smartphones, the arrival of more upcoming models in development proves that there is a niche market for these types of devices. Majority of consumers believe that Samsung was the first out of the gate with its Galaxy Fold. However, the tech industry recognises the FlexPai from Royole as the forerunner of folding handsets. While there is not much publicity about the company, it is ready to introduce the FlexPai 2.
Earlier this year, Royole was in attendance at CES 2020. There were no smartphone announcements during the expo, but it featured the Mirage smart speaker with a wraparound display on the body. Talking to Engadget at the tech event, company CEO Bill Liu assured consumers that a follow-up model was in development. It comes as a surprise given that the original sold poorly.
It seems that quality issues were the biggest factor as to why Royole failed to flood the market, which is not unlike its one of its rivals that arrived roughly a little over a year later. Nevertheless, true to Liu's promise, the FlexPai 2 is real and will ship with several enhancements on board. Perhaps the most relevant change is in the form of the new flexible display technology.
The company is calling it the third-generation Cicada Wing Fully Flexible Display (FFD). This supposedly addresses a major problem with most modern foldable screens. Repeated motions that close and open the device will eventually cause the plastic (usually made of polyimide) to fail. This creates unsightly creases that will affect its usage.
According to Royole, its Cicada Wing FFD has been shrunk from 3 millimetres to 1 millimetre only. Durability-wise, the flexible display panel can allegedly withstand up to 200,000 bends. Not only is it thinner, but it likewise features improved brightness, contrast, colour gamut, and viewing angles. This boost is reportedly delivered by the new custom driver silicon.
Speaking of chipsets, the Royole FlexPai 2 will be using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC. This makes it compatible with 5G networks. RAM and internal storage sizes were not indicated but will use LPDDR5 and UFS 3.0 technology, respectively. Finally, the 7.8-inch display still folds outward similar to the Huawei Mate X and Mate Xs.