Currently, the only foldable phone that you can buy off the market is the Royole FlexPai and before you brush it aside because it comes from a startup and not a bigwig, check out the video uploaded on the channel JerryRigEverything as Zack Nelson pokes and prods the phone to see how durable it is.
Judging by the video, it seems that the FlexPai is the underdog that perhaps deserves more attention than it has received so far. The user interface of the phone seems pretty smooth and adapts according to its orientation. This is an out folding phone, and there is a magnet at the back to make sure it never opens on its own.
Since this is a foldable phone, it sports a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen made of plastic, and not glass, since glass cannot bend. It seems that the display of the FlexPai is pretty vulnerable to damages, and even a simple fingernail scratch can cause indentations. Given that this phone folds on the outside and the display remains exposed at all times, the display can probably get scratched easily and you cannot even put a protector on top to do anything about it.
The panel above the display is apparently made of glass and it seems robust and so does the fingerprint scanner, as it works just fine even after Nelson scratches up its surface. Moving on, the back panel is all plastic and pretty susceptible to scratches.
A heat test was also conducted, with a lighter being held to the display and the exposed part was completely destroyed after just five seconds, as unlike glass displays, plastic ones are pretty thin and cannot absorb heat.
Now, coming towards the most important part of the test, the Flexpai bends perfectly well when folded outwards and Nelson tightly holds the tablet phone hybrid when it's in its bent state to see if it will get crushed or if the hinge will take a beating, but the Flexpai holds up pretty well.
And then, Nelson does the unthinkable to find out what will happen if the phone is folded in the wrong direction, and surprisingly, he is able to fold it quite a bit, before the hinge finally gives up and breaks at two points. The phone continues to function as intended even after the hinge is cracked before the display goes out after being folded inwards multiple times.
But then again, the FlexPai is designed to fold outwards only, and for it to survive multiple bends on the wrong side only shows how durable it is. And at a starting price of $1,318 it actually sounds better than the $1,980 Galaxy Fold and the $2,600 Huawei Mate X, both of which were delayed because their manufacturers weren't so sure about the longevity. In fact, the Galaxy Fold merely lasted some hours for some reviewers, before the screen gave out.
The FlexPai is underpinned by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Soc, and the maxed-out variant has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of native memory. The dual-camera system has a 20 megapixels telephoto unit and a 16 megapixels wide-angle sensor and it also doubles up as a selfie camera. The Mate X and the Galaxy Fold will both likely be out by September, and it's only then we will find out how they hold up against the FlexPai.