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The flip phone has made a comeback.

Royole Corporation, a 6-year-old startup, has become the first company to commercially release a smartphone with a foldable screen. Their product, the FlexPai, launched on October 31, besting Samsung, which is still teasing a release of their own foldable phone.

TechNode got a hands-on look at the FlexPai Tuesday during TechCrunch Shenzhen, where Royole Chairman and CEO Bill Liu said that while the FlexPai is a novelty, the company envisions the product as a practical solution.

“People always want portability and large screen visual experience and that’s exactly what FlexPai can do,” he said. “People are interested in this new product not only because of the novelty. Novelty eventually has to serve for human needs.”

Cassidy McDonald is a Beijing-based multimedia journalist who covers technology's effect on Chinese society. She tweets at @CMcD123.

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