With Samsung’s foldable phone making all the headlines, it’s easy to forget that other companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, LG and even Lenovo (Motorola) are working on one.
Xiaomi is also close to making its own foldable phone and it has just showed up in a video that recently surfaced online.
The video shows Xiaomi president and co-founder Lin Bin using the foldable device, which still looks like in its prototype phase. The design is quite different from what we’ve been seen so far from the likes of Royole Flexpai and Samsung’s prototype.
The video first surfaced on Chinese social network Weibo, and then got uploaded again on YouTube:
As seen in the demonstration, the phone folds backward and uses two creases that separate the displays. The screen works but still doesn’t look anything like a finished, or consumer-ready product so we can guess that it will still take a while to be ready.
Custom Android Variant
Moreover, the device is using a custom version of Android that switches the display layout based on whether the display is folded or unfolded. Surely, the finished device is going to utilize the foldable nature of the display to add more software features, perhaps some animations or tools that help the device become more useful.
Even so, it’s nice to have the ability to switch to a bigger display to, say, watch a movie without having to switch to another device.
Lin Bin, the Xiaomi executive demonstrating his device in the video scrolls through the content, and we can see that the entire display stays turned on while its getting unfolded. Of course, the finished unit will look a bit different than the one in the video.
The idea of the device’s foldable nature is to switch between a tablet and a smartphone size display on the fly so that you can get more out of one device by using a larger display. Whether or not this idea proves useful, we’ll need to wait for some actual devices to get launched.