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Chinese startup Moxi Group could release the first flexible smartphone this year

Flexible displays are all the rage right now. Samsung has been working hard on them, as has LG, but we have yet to see a product with a truly flexible display. That, however, may change later this year.

A Chinese startup called Moxi Group made headlines lately when it discussed its flexible smartphone. But don’t get too excited yet, the company hasn’t made the Galaxy S7 fold up into fun size — according to Moxi Group Executive Vice President Chongsheng Yu, the first flexible smartphone the company releases will have a black-and-white e-ink display.

“Black-and-white phones are much easier to make,” said Yu in an interview with Bloomberg. “The color model power usage is also much higher than that of the black-and-white unit.”

So how much are you expected to pay for this black-and-white phone? A hefty $760, according to CNN Money. At launch, the phone will only be available in China, but if the demand is big enough, Moxi Group says that it will open up sales outside of the country. Not only that, but Yu also says that a phone with a flexible color display will be available sometime in 2018.

To make a flexible display that still functions properly, the company used a layer of graphene, which is made from a layer of carbon atoms arranged in a way that makes them highly conductive. Of course, the entire device isn’t flexible — it’s a little harder to make a flexible battery and processor than it is to make a flexible display. There’s a module at one end of the device that houses all the non-display parts.

The device is an early example of a flexible smartphone, but it’s still cool to see — hopefully, the likes of Samsung will follow and offer flexible devices of their own in the near future.

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