The story of folding smartphones hasn’t been a particularly very successful one – although very cool to look at from a distance, they don’t perform as well for general day-to-day use. After a small Chinese OEM company by the name of Royole Corporation launched the first commercially available true folding smartphone under the name of FlexPai, industry giants leaped into the game. With Samsung leading the first successful folding phone with its Galaxy Fold, other companies like Huawei, Microsoft, and even Motorola joined the game. But even though the quality of each new model of folding phone has gotten better, one thing has been constant: a heavy price tag… something that the Chinese tech giant Xiaomi is eyeing to solve.
First Xiaomi Folding Phone Expected to Launch In 2021:
While Xiaomi had already displayed a [somewhat] working prototype back in 2019, they hadn’t given any further updates on this new concept, that is, until very recently. In a bold move by the Beijing based electronics manufacturer, Xiaomi has patented designs for a foldable phone that looks pretty similar to the Huawei Mate XS.
Dutch online platform LetsGoDigital discovered recently that Xiaomi filed a patent for the design in early January this year.
Even calling it a folding ‘phone’ would be a bit of a misnomer: the phone opens up to a square tablet-sized touchscreen. However, while folded it still seems compact enough for daily smartphone use. The phone seems to take heavy inspiration from the Huawei Mate XS’s design, even following the thick design on the device’s edges. The design includes four cameras, an LED flash, and what looks to be an extra button or a sensor.
It’s pretty safe to expect that Xiaomi will inspire a breakthrough in making folding phones more accessible and affordable to their customers. Seeing as to how the folding phone market is dominated by very expensive models, it definitely makes sense for Xiaomi to try to break into this space.