It looks like 2019 is going to be the year of the folding smartphone. Samsung has one on the way. Motorola too. Royole already released one. And they all seem to use flexible display technology in different ways, with some folding inward and others folding outward.
And then there’s Xiaomi. It looks like the company’s foldable concept design is first I’ve seen with a tri-fold design.
Unfolded it looks like a small tablet. But bend the right and left sides back like you would if you were closing a wallet and you’re left with a smaller, phone-sized display.
Look what it is! The Xiaomi Foldable Phone! This video was posted by Lin Bin, president of Xiaomi . Confirms what we saw in the video @evleaks posted earlier! This actually looks amazing and XIoami is looking for a name for it: Mi Mix Flex, Mi Dual Flex, etc. Thoughts?#Xiaomi pic.twitter.com/F3y2jBkxrp
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) January 23, 2019
Now Xiaomi president Lin Bin has posted his own video to Chinese social media service Weibo that shows the phone in action.
The video shows the device offering a nearly seamless transition from full-screen to folded modes. When folded up, the phone is easy to navigate with one hand. When using the full display, you get access to a larger screen for watching videos or engaging with other content.
It’s an interesting concept, but I do still have some questions. Does the phone have a camera or cameras? I don’t see any. In the demo video it looks like there are visible creases at the bend points when the device is used in tablet mode. There seems to be a power button, but I don’t see any volume buttons, does the phone have them, or is the goal to go button-free?
Right now Xiaomi is referring to the tri-fold device as a engineering prototype and the company hasn’t committed to bringing it to market yet, so we might have to wait a little while to get answers to those questions.