While Samsung has barely shared any more details about its foldable smartphone after teasing it this past November, it looks like Xiaomi is already hard at work to beat the South Korean electronics company to the punch.
On Twitter, high-profile industry tipster Evan Blass has shared a video allegedly showing off Xiaomi's own take on the foldable smartphone design. Whereas Samsung's prototype involves a tablet-size smartphone capable of folding in half, Xiaomi's device has two hinges and three foldable panels.
Rumors, of course, must always be taken with a grain of salt, especially when there's purported evidence — lots of things can be faked nowadays. The clip, a bit janky and dimly lit, shows no more details beyond the display. It starts off with a large landscape view, then the two side panels fold backward, resulting in a much smaller screen that's only a bit tinier than conventional smartphones.
Xiaomi Foldable Device
So many things about this video remain uncertain. For one, it's not even certain if it's a Xiaomi device, and that's assuming the device is indeed real. There is a crumb of evidence that lends credence to the purported leak, though. Back in July 2018, ET News reported that Xiaomi was developing an "outfolding" phone with a planned release date of 2019. What's more, Xiaomi isn't new to pushing the boundaries of smartphone design — its Mi Mix series were one of the first phones with truly bezel-less, no-notch displays.
Can't speak to the authenticity of this video or device, but it's allegedly made by Xiaomi, I'm told. Hot new phone, or gadget porn deepfake? pic.twitter.com/qwFogWiE2F — Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 3, 2019
Naturally, there are a ton of questions that remain unanswered. Mainly, how much is the phone going to cost? Xiaomi is famous for offering flagship-level handsets at a fraction of the price of its rivals, so there's a chance this device undercuts Samsung's foldable Galaxy phone, which some rumors say is going to cost north of $2,000. That being said, this is an entirely innovative and new design, which gives Xiaomi ample leeway to put a higher price initially.
The Rise Of Foldable Smartphones
Ultimately, however, this should still be taken as a rumor. It's entirely possible the device shown in the video is fake, so it's best to neuter one's expectations. In any case, it's clear that foldable devices will inevitably hit the market at some point this year. Whether or not they became mainstays in the industry or pass by and eventually die as nothing more than gimmicks remains to be determined.
Thoughts about Xiaomi's alleged foldable device? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!