- The video claims to show a bendable screen that folds out into three big panels
- When users no longer want it to be a tablet, it folds into a standard-sized phone
- It’s unclear if it will launch, but it would compete with Samsung’s folding device
Folding phones are shaping up to have a big year in 2019.
A new video obtained by noted leaker Evan Blass claims to show Xiaomi’s yet-to-be-released smartphone featuring a bendable screen that folds out into three panels.
When users no longer want it to be a tablet, the phone’s outer panels handily fold into themselves, transforming the device into a standard-sized smartphone.
The Chinese tech company isn’t the first to turn folding phones into a reality.
Samsung in November took the wraps off of its smartphone with a wraparound ‘Infinity Flex Display,’ while LG and Huawei are said to be developing their own folding phone prototypes.
The video gives the most detailed look at Xiaomi’s upcoming device yet.
In it, a user can be seen scrolling through Google Maps on an extra-large screen that stretches across three panels.
These panels then fold backward to make the device more compact.
This design differs from foldable models developed by Samsung and ZTE, which turns into a tablet by folding one panel out to create two panels intersected by a bezel in the middle.
When users no longer want it to be a tablet, the phone’s outer panels handily fold into themselves, transforming the device into a standard-sized smartphone
Blass noted in a tweet accompanying the video that it’s unclear whether or not the device is actually made by Xiaomi.
However, speculation has been building for several years that the company was planning to launch a foldable phone.
In 2016, Xiaomi released a video of a bendable screen prototype and, as Engadget pointed out, the firm tends to get ahead of emerging smartphone trends.
Xiaomi released a nearly all-screen phone design with the Mi Mix long before other smartphonemakers did the same.
Once it does hit the shelves, it’ll likely face some competition with Samsung’s own folding model.
Blass noted in a tweet that it’s unclear whether or not the device is actually made by Xiaomi. However, speculation has been building for years that it’s developing a folding phone
This design differs from foldable models developed by Samsung and ZTE, which turns into a tablet by folding one panel out to create two panels intersected by a bezel in the middle
The unnamed device features a small screen on the outside of the phone and another, larger display that reveals itself once the device is unfolded.
Samsung says the 7.3-inch screen can be folded ‘hundreds of thousands of times’ thanks to the display’s thinness and flexibility.
‘Users now have the best of both worlds: a compact smartphone that unfolds to reveal a larger immersive display for multitasking and viewing content,’ Samsung explained.
Justin Denison, Samsung’s senior vice president of mobile product marketing, unveiled the firm’s first folding phone onstage at the 2018 Developer Conference in San Francisco. It features a 7.3-inch screen that can transform into a phone or tablet
‘The app experience seamlessly transitions from the smaller display to the larger display as the device unfolds.
‘In addition, users can browse, watch, connect and multitask without losing a beat, simultaneously using three active apps on the larger display,’ the firm added.
Samsung said in November that its folding phone should become available ‘in the coming months.’