For the past few years we’ve witnessed a number of folding phone designs in concepts and suspected patent images that could potentially lead to working foldable devices. A few hours ago, the co-founder and president of Xiaomi Lin Bin has released a video teaser of what appears to be Xiaomi’s own take on a foldable smartphone.
The video shows Lin Bin use a tablet form device scrolling through content and after a few seconds rotates the device, folds both ends and the device leaving the middle portion of it usable. The implementation is fascinating. It is a new usage scenario we’ve not seen before and definitely a unique implementation at that.
This isn’t the first video of a folding phone we’ve seen however. Royale was the first company to release what they considered a consumer ready foldable device. According to many critics, their device was more of a concept phone that a finished product ready for consumption. The folding mechanism appeared forced and software not yet adaptable to the folding feature. Royale’s attempt was none other than a desperate one to appear the first company to release a folding device.
Samsung also released their own video showcasing the folding smartphone they are working on that is hopefully to be released in a few months. Their device basically folds in half as Royale’s FlexiPai but in a neater compact form.
Xiaomi shows a new approach and possibly one that could be widely embraced. Their device folds in three parts with two of it’s sides firmly wrapping the back. Lin Bin also notes that Xiaomi has conquered “a series of technical problems such as flexible folding screen technology, four-wheel drive folding shaft technology, flexible cover technology, and MIUI adaptation.”
Xiaomi has not released any specifications for the device or release date but the phone sure looks promising. It is expected to be released this year, asserting itself in the race to compete with other folding phones expected to be released from other manufacturers likes of Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo.