CHINESE PHONE MAKER Xiaomi wants you to know that it’s also getting into the foldable phone game, and has shown off a prototype gadget on video.
While it remains unclear whether anyone actually wants a folding phone, this is the second time we’ve caught a glimpse of Xiaomi’s debut bendy device.
This time, a video (below) that comes courtesy of Xiaomi’s co-founder and president Lin Bin shows off the handset’s novel dual-folding design. Both sides of the device can be folded back to transform it from a tablet into more of a ‘phone’ form factor; a more practical use of the technology than Royole’s face-palming attempts.
The hands-on clip also offers a glimpse at Xiaomi’s UI, which automatically resizes itself to occupy just the middle part of the screen, and at the device’s top-centre-mounted power button that’s easily accessible when it’s used as a ‘phone’.
Bin doesn’t reveal much else about the device he’s fondling but notes that it’s is the result of the company overcoming technical challenges relating to folding displays, foldable hinges, flexible covers, and UI adaptation.
He also quipped that what he hopes the gadget, which is still a prototype at this stage, will become “the world’s first dual-folding phone”, noting that the company will consider mass producing it if the response from consumers is positive.
Xiaomi has two possible names in mind for the prototype – Mi Dual Flex and Mi MIX Flex – but says it’s also looking for suggestions.
Folding phones, or, ugh, ‘foldables’, are likely to be a big deal this year. Samsung will show off its so-called Galaxy Flex alongside the Galaxy S10 on 20 February, Huawei is gearing up to launch a flexible device and even Google is adding support for foldables to Android.
However, these devices are unlikely to see mass adoption – especially when their prices are considered. Royale’s foldy-phone goes for up to £1,400 and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Flex is expected to cost similar.
That feels like an awful lot of cash for a party trick, no matter how impressive. µ
Source : Inquirer