Finally, a flexible phone you can actually buy! The FlexPai from shipping in December. It's got a 7.8 inch foldable 1440p AMOLED display in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the better for folding, my dear.
(FlexPai folding phone video)
The folding mechanism is supported by a hinge with over 100 unique components. The hinge seems very sturdy, but obviously the real technical achievement is the flexible display. In addition to the underlying flexible display panel, Royole is using a type of flexible plastic material instead of the familiar cover glass.
While the plastic does not feel nearly as premium as glass, it’s probably the best material available for the task. It also effectively makes the FlexPai shatterproof.
Taking the Royole FlexPai from tablet to phone mode is pretty straightforward — just fold it down the middle. The hinge supports pretty much every angle, so you can fold and use it in any position you wish. Royole claims the FlexPai can be folded at least 200,000 times, enough for several years of normal use.
In the United States, the FlexPai will cost $1,318 for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage model and $1,469 for the 8GB RAM and 256GB storage model.
Fans of Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict will think they've died and gone to reruns.
(Earth: Final Conflict)
Fans of science fiction writer William Gibson will also be impressed; in his 1986 novel Count Zero, Gibson wrote about an amazing cell phone with a screen that unfolded like a butterfly's wings:
He took an elegant modular unit from the bag and placed it in front of her. A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid. She had once watched a butterfly emerge into the world, and seen the transformation of its drying wings. 'How is that done?' she asked, tentatively touching the screen." (Read more about Gibson's polycarbon phone screen.)