2019 is not only the year of punch hole camera cutouts, it could also be the year of the foldable phones. Of course, not all OEMs will be able to jump on that trend, unlike with cutouts, but those that do will be racing for the best possible foldable design. Samsung’s way is, of course, just one and it seems that Xiaomi already has its own version in the works. And if it manages to pull it off, it could very well steal the spotlight. Especially if it comes with the company’s usual pricing strategy.
No one has come up with the ideal foldable phone design yet. With Samsung’s design, the larger screen folds in and requires a second screen on the other side to make the phone usable even when folded. Others fold the screen outward to also address the problem of requiring some curvature in the fold of the screen.
But with either design comes the problem of ending up with a phone or a screen that is drastically narrower and taller than the phone screens we’re used to these days. Either that or unfolded screen ends up being more square than the tablet’s we’re used to as well.
Xiaomi may have come upon a better compromise, but one that is probably harder to pull off as well. In a video posted on Weibo, company president Lin Bin shows off a prototype that looks more like a regular rectangular tablet but then folds in two places down to a more familiar phone screen size. Admittedly, it’s a bit more square too, but at least closer to our familiar phablets.
It’s just a prototype, of course, but Bin seems to hint that they have all but addressed engineering, hardware, and even software concerns. How close they are to the final product is still unknown but, as for now, they don’t even have a name for it yet. Bin has Xiaomi Dual Flex and Xiaomi MIX Flex in mind but is also crowdsourcing possible names.