Royole improves folding display for next generation FlexPai smartphone
In early November 2018, while many of the big players in the smartphone world were still feeding the rumor mill about a new generation of folding phones, little known Chinese company Royole launched one called the FlexPai. Now Royole has announced its latest flexible display and the phone in which it will launch.
Royole's first generation Cicada Wing was actually developed back in 2014, but the first smartphone to feature the technology wasn't released until 2019, the FlexPai. When folded out, this device offered a 7.8-inch, 1,920 x 1,440 resolution OLED tablet, but could be folded to fit in a pocket. Three displays were presented when folded – one to the front, one to the back and another down the spine (across the fold).
It came with a Snapdragon 8150 processor, 8 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage. Dual rear cameras completed the basic specs. The FlexPai hasn't been on sale long, but will now be replaced by a new version that will debut the third generation of the Cicada Wing technology.
This full flexible OLED display features improved image quality thanks to a brand new integrated circuit, a 50 percent increase in brightness over the previous generation, and even remains bright and colorful when viewed at a 30-degree angle. Its color gamut is said to be 30 percent wider than on high-end LCD displays, while the contrast ratio comes in at 500 times better. And it boasts a response time of just 0.4 milliseconds.
Royole says that the new display technology has a minimum bend radius of a millimeter, which should allow for implementation in different form factors (not just smartphone/tablets), and will show no creases or indents across the hinge for a smooth touchscreen surface. The company is again claiming that the display should be good for more than 200,000 folds without showing any signs of failing.
The 3rd-gen Cicada Wing will debut in the FlexPai 2 folding smartphone, which is due to launch in the coming quarter. Little in the way of hard specs have been revealed at this time, but we can tell you it will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G processor and high-speed LPDDR5 RAM.
It will rock a new weatherproof and robust Super Seamless and Stepless Hinge made from aircraft-grade materials that can be folded out to various angles between zero (folded) and 180 degrees (unfolded). In tablet mode, users are offered a 7.8-inch, 4:3 aspect OLED display, but there are no extra screens on the opposite face – just shiny metal. The display side is also home to the device's four camera modules (so that when folded into smartphone configuration, they appear on the back of the device).
During its online press conference, Royole also announced a strategic partnership with the ZTE Corporation to advance fully flexible display technology in the 5G mobile era.