Royole’s radical foldable smartphone made its global debut at CES International in Las Vegas on Monday morning, beating Samsung and other top phone makers in the race to bring flexible handheld devices to consumers.
The firm showed off its $1300 FlexPai smartphone, which doubles as a tablet when it’s unfurled – making it, in that form, ‘the biggest smartphone in the world right now.’
While other companies have demonstrated similar concepts in recent months, Royole’s FlexPai is the first commercial version of a foldable smartphone.
The firm officially launched FlexPai in Beijing this past fall.
During a press conference at the Mandalay Bay at CES, Royole CEO Bill Liu revealed the firm’s vision to ‘change the way we interact with information.’
Royole has been developing its Human Machine Interface (HMI) for the past six years, straying from the traditional approach of the ‘rigid, bulky interface’ to flexible systems that better adapt to the user’s needs.
FlexPai, the CEO explains, is essentially the combination of a smartphone and a tablet.
And, the firm says, it still weighs less than typical devices of each kind.
The foldable phone allows you to turn a tablet into a pocket-sized device for the first time.
‘You can’t put a pad in your pocket,’ Liu said in reference to other, rigid tablets.
‘In the past decade, there’s been so many different portable devices in the world, but most of them are similar – a small device that fits in the palm, with a touchscreen,’ the CEO said during the press conference.
‘So what’s next? Everyone is asking the same question.’
‘Our mission is to improve the way people interact with the world,’ Liu said. ‘We’ve never changed our mission; that’s still the mission today.’