Samsung may have taken the lion’s share in the foldable phone attention, and not in a good way, but to be fair, it wasn’t actually the first to put out a commercially-available foldable phone. That distinction belongs to the relatively unknown Chinese company Royole who launched the FlexPai earlier this year. And since it’s the only one that’s available now, it also has the privilege being the first to be given a durability test from JerryRigEverything.
Given the cost of the device and its novelty, consumers will most likely want to know how long foldable phones will survive in the wild. Especially considering how Samsung’s Galaxy Fold catastrophically failed in just days out in the wild. Granted, the FlexPai shared more in common with the Huawei Mate X in terms of design, which makes it even more interesting in that regard.
As expected, the plastic screen didn’t survive the scratch test. It couldn’t even withstand rather blunt fingernails. And as with typical LCD screens, the FlexPai turned black temporarily at the burn spot after a few seconds. The rest of the phone, thankfully, was also a typical metal affair.
The real interesting stuff, however, was in the bend test. Not in the normal way that it bends, of course, but in the hopefully rare case it gets bent the other way. The good news is that when folded, the phone is touch as nails. The even better news is that even if it bends the other way and breaks at the hinge, the FlexPai continues working. At least until the thin flexible screen gets bent simultaneously in different direction.
Given the Huawei Mate X is similarly designed, there is a chance it could bear the same weakness. The stress test is also an indirect testament to the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s “innie” design in terms of protecting the screen when folded in pockets or bags.