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(Pocket-lint) - Royole was the first manufacturer to announce a folding smartphone, back at CES 2019, in the FlexPai. The FlexPai folding phone featured a display that wrapped around the outside, like the Huawei Mate X that launched later the same year. 

The FlexPai 2 was then announced in September 2020 and now it looks like the third generation of the device could be on the cards.

Serial leaker Evan Blass - who has an excellent track record - published some images of what he claims is the Royole (F3) on his Twitter account. While Blass didn't offer any details on what is expected for the Royole FlexPai 3 internally, some information can be taken from the shared images.

The device has a vertical fold again, as its predecessors have offered, and it appears the hinge has been redesigned from the FlexPai 2 with a smooth finish rather than ribbed. There's a rear square camera housing, which is different to the vertical camera housing of the second-gen model and it appears there will be two large lenses, rather than four smaller this time round. With no extra screen though, the device would need to be unfolded to use the rear camera.

Based on the square indent on the opposite side to the camera housing, it looks like Royole will continue to offer a screen on the outside, rather than opt for a screen on the inside like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. That said, it could also be that it folds inwards and the indent is just a design element. It also looks like it will use a pop up camera, rather than under-display camera or hole punch camera.

It's not clear what other specifications the Royole FlexPai 3 will offer, though we suspect we will find out soon enough now the design has leaked.

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Writing by Britta O'Boyle.