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The world’s first folding phone doesn’t exactly scream futuristic

Technically impressive and worth buying are two very different things

For years, Samsung has been threatening to unleash the world’s first folding-screen phone. You may remember a video starring the world’s smuggest man impressing a young woman with the non-existent technology back in 2013.

Five years on, and Samsung still hasn’t delivered on this promise, as believable as the performance above may have appeared. But now it looks like the South Korean giants have beaten to the punch, and by a complete unknown too: Royole. The company has unveiled FlexPai.

It all looks very sleek and swish in the video above, which shows a tablet-like handset that can be folded across the middle to make a device that just about fits in the hand. Specs-wise, it’s supposed to pack the next-generation 7nm Snapdragon 8150 processor with 6 or 8GB RAM. In other words it should be very nippy indeed.

It’s available to preorder now, and costs £1,209, incredibly making the iPhone Xs look like a value option. I suppose that you are getting a 7.8in tablet and a phone for that price, but it’s still incredibly expensive. Especially when you see the device in action, and see just how clunky it looks in person:

It hardly looks futuristic in the flesh, then. Not only does Android struggle to cope when it’s folded, but it doesn’t look like it would be exactly comfortable in the pocket in either configuration. The party trick itself is very impressive, but practical? Something with such a novel USP shouldn’t feel dated before it launches, but that’s the gut feeling I have with the FlexPai: its chunky design feels like it already has one foot in the tech graveyard.

Samsung hasn’t given up on its foldable phones, of course, and rumours continue to circle that we may see a product as soon as next week. If the company has used the five years since it first floated the idea to make a design that matches the aesthetic its perfected with its Galaxy S range, the FlexPai could well and truly be dead on arrival. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be first.

Quite a few of what we can convey in this article, The world’s first folding phone doesn’t exactly scream futuristic, hopefully this article useful.

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