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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung might not be the first to market with a foldable phone.

We keep hearing about phones with foldable screens. They're coming, the reports say. Expect the first one this summer, others say. We've also seen flexible displays on display at major trade shows. And yet, here we are in late 2018, and there are no bendy-screen phones you can buy. Sure, there is that ZTE Axon M dual-screen flip phone with a hinge, but it's not a true foldable phone.


Now, however, it looks like a little-known startup called Royole may be the first to come to market with a foldable phone - and the screen actually does fold. Meet FlexPai, its tablet-sized phone that can be bent into a book shape. The video above shows what it's supposed to do, but before you get too pumped, look at the other video below. That's a real hands-on video of the upcoming FlexPai.

RoyoleRoyole image 2

From what we can tell, the phone looks pretty cumbersome and bulky - especially when folded. The phone's software also appears to get all messed up when the phone’s screen is bent, as you can see the display flashing before it changes orientation. Spec-wise, it features a Snapdragon 8-series chipset and 6GB of RAM. ITHome (via GizmoChina) said it will start at ¥8,999 (around $1,290).

Pre-orders will open on 31 October, with orders shipping in December.

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Keep in mind Samsung’s foldable smartphone is set to debut next week at a developer conference, and other companies are working on them, too. So, regardless of who is the first to release a foldable phone, it looks like these interesting devices have finally begun to arrive.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.