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Royole is back with a second-generation foldable phone, called the FlexPai 2, which the company plans to launch during the second quarter. 

On Wednesday, the company’s CEO Bill Liu briefly showed off the foldable phone during a live stream talking up the latest progress on Royole’s flexible OLED display technology.  

The product looks pretty similar to the original FlexPai, which Royole debuted back in Oct. 2018. The new model still retains a large 7.8-inch screen, which can help the device fold from a tablet into a phone. However, Royole has upgraded the FlexPai 2 with a better flexible display. 

According to Liu, the company’s third-generation “Cicada Wing” screen technology is brighter, offers higher contrast ratios and quicker response times over the previous generation. But more importantly, the display is sturdier, and promises to survive up over 200,000 folds without resulting in peeling, tearing, or creasing to the screen.

Stronger hinge to FlexPai 2

To make the FlexPai 2 even more durable, the company has upgraded the foldable phone with a stronger hinge. The new component contains no gap along the spine, which should help prevent dust and crumbs from getting into the device. 

While holding up the FlexPai 2, Liu added: “It’s a lot thinner than the earlier generation. It’s also lightweight.”

Bill Liu holding up the FlexPai 2

In terms of specs, the new model will run Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 865 processor. It’ll also be capable of running on 5G networks across the globe. In addition, the device comes with four cameras. 

No mention was made on the FlexPai 2’s specific launch date or price. But we expect the upcoming product to be very expensive. Last year’s model went up for sale at $1,291. 

FlexPai 2 unfolding

We had a chance to try out the original FlexPai back in 2018, but we weren’t exactly impressed. The novelty of folding the phone quickly wore off, leaving us with a hybrid device that felt both clunky and unnecessary. So we’re interested to see what improvements have been made to make the second-generation FlexPai more useable. 

During today’s live stream, Royole also announced a strategic partnership with Chinese smartphone vendor ZTE. The two companies plan on making 5G devices using Royole’s flexible display technology. So expect ZTE to introduce its own smartphones with foldable screens in the near future.

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