Bendy screen smartphone unveiled in China

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A Silicon Valley-based firm has released a futuristic smartphone that can fold up.

The FlexPai is billed as the world’s first foldable smartphone by its developer Royole and has a super flexible screen which can be bent from the middle.

With a thickness of just 7.6mm, the duel-camera handset was launched in China last week and is now available for pre-order online.

Depending on the specifications, the phone’s price ranges from 8,999 yuan (£1,005) to 12,999 yuan (£1,452) in China for either a consumer model or a developer model.

However, only the developer model has been released outside of China at £1,209 for a 128G edition and £1,349 for a 256G edition.

The phone weighs just 320g and has two cameras at the top.

The cutting-edge handset was unveiled in Beijing by Bill Liu, the 35-year-old founder and CEO of Royole.

Liu is a Chinese entrepreneur with a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He established his company six years ago with offices in the United States and China.

Liu has given the screen a poetic name, Cicada’s Wings, to highlight its light weight, flexibility and durability.

According to Liu, the screen was developed solely by his team and contains more than 20 million flexible high-precision devices, bendy integrated circuits and nearly 100 micro and nano structured thin film materials.

Liu said his team had run tests on the screen for around three years and owned more than 2,000 intellectual property rights.

Experts previously told Wire that flexible screens were more resilient and durable than glass-fronted touchscreen displays used in most current smartphones.

Foldable screens cannot be broken when they are dropped and are also lighter and cheaper to produce.

The launch of FlexPai has caught many industry observers by surprise.

It had been widely speculated that Samsung or Huawei would be the first company to launch a foldable phone.

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