Skip to main content

This is the cheapest foldable phone on the market

(Image credit: Future)

Meet the Royole Flexpai, a foldable smartphone first revealed at CES 2019 that hoped to rub shoulders with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

"[This] proof-of-concept device shows that flexible smartphones are the future - but the poor performance in the hand and the chunky design mean that it doesn't wow in every way,” TechRadar's Gareth Beavis said in his hands on review.

Fast forward twelve months and it seems the phone wasn't nearly as popular as Royole had hoped. The phone is now available for just under $1,000 (roughly £780/AU$1530), excluding delivery and potential shipping fees, import duties and taxes.

Found a better deal?

Have you managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specification? Let us know and we'll tip our hat to you.

Royole Flexpai - $999.99 from Aliexpress

Royole Flexpai - $999.99 from Aliexpress
The Royole Flexpai had a noble vision, but its execution leaves much to be desired. The fully flexible display is admittedly impressive, but doesn't make up for the clunky feel in the hand. It's a nifty proof-of-concept, but you'd be better to splash out on a superior foldable device.


The Royole Flexpai runs Android 9.0 with the company’s own proprietary UI, and is powered by a Snapdragon 855 CPU, 6GB of RAM and 128GB onboard storage (an 8GB version with 256GB memory is also available).

The fully flexible display - which bends on the outside - is what sets it apart from the competition (Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, Galaxy Z Flip). The device, which sport two cameras, can also be transformed into a full tablet with a 7.8-inch display diagonal, which is almost as large as a standard tablet (such as the iPad Mini) and great for business users.

Note that the phone only supports English and Chinese at the moment, with no other language options available. It's also incompatible with Google Play Store (though you should in theory be able to sideload apps) and Aliexpress won’t offer refunds to buyers who fail read the small print.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.