Samsung’s first foldable smartphone is by far the most talked about device with this new form factor, but Samsung isn’t going to be the only company launching foldable handsets this year. In fact, you can already buy one from an unknown smartphone vendor from China right now. Not to mention that Samsung’s biggest rivals, including Apple, Microsoft, Huawei, LG, and a variety of other China-based OEMs are all working on foldable handsets of their own. A new leak shows what appears to be Xiaomi’s first foldable phone, and it’s a device that might offer users a design that’s even more exciting than Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy F.
Samsung showed off the foldable phone prototype in early November, although the phone’s design was hidden in a bulky case. The handset, shown in the render above, features a primary display on the inside, as well as a secondary screen on the outside so that you can use the device when it’s folded closed.
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
Xiaomi’s tablet, shown in the video above that Evan “@evleaks” Blass shared on Twitter, has a different design that features two hinges rather than one. Samsung’s phone folds in half like a wallet with the screen on the inside. Xiaomi’s supposed unnamed device, meanwhile, is made of three parts, with the screen on the outside and the left and right sides folding backward. The middle section, featuring curved edges when folded, remains active while the device is used in phone mode.
Blass says it’s unclear whether the device in the video is legitimate, and whether Xiaomi indeed made it. What is clear is that the device runs Android and that the language is set to Chinese. The video does suggest that the screen is quite responsive in tablet and smartphone mode, and there’s no lag whatsoever.
When it comes to user experience, we have high expectations from Samsung. Not only did the company unveil a new user interface for the upcoming phone, but Samsung has been working with Google to optimize Android for foldable screens. As for Xiaomi, even if the device in the video isn’t theirs, the Chinese smartphone maker is one of the Android vendors in the region that are expected to launch foldable phones this year, devices that should be even cheaper than Samsung’s Galaxy F.
That said, it’s unclear when all these foldable phones will hit stores. But with events like CES and MWC coming soon, we should expect announcements from smartphone makers soon enough.