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These new renders of Xiaomi’s double-folding smartphone should worry Samsung

Updated Feb 12th, 2019 1:39AM EST
Xiaomi foldable phone
Image: LetsGoDigital

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Ahead of the press conference it has scheduled for February 24, one day before Mobile World Congress 2019 kicks off, Xiaomi has shared some deeper insight into what the company has been experimenting with around flexible displays and foldable smartphones. Insights that include how the China-based company is apparently still working through some of the technical challenges inherent in the double-folding smartphone with its three different form factors that the company has in the works, with Dutch blog LetsGoDigital reporting that Xiaomi is considering the possibility of calling it either the Xiaomi Dual Flex or the Xiaomi MIX Flex.

Based on the video below from Xiaomi which shows how the foldable phone’s design will actually work — with two sides that can be collapsed under the phone — LetsGoDigital has also prepped a new set of renderings for the handset, about which Xiaomi’s global PR team had this to say to the blog: “Xiaomi is first in the world to present a double folding smartphone and has the same technical challenges posed in its three different form factors — double folded, single folded, and tablet form. Prior to finding the best solution, Xiaomi has conducted extensive research into the development of a robust folding mechanism.

“Each innovation is the result of joint, cumulative R & D efforts from supply chain partners and the device manufacturer. It is misguided to think a folding screen can be easily turned into a folding smartphone without significant breakthroughs in technology. Each segment of the industrial chain has its unique contribution. Xiaomi believes that innovative products and great user experience are possible with sound collaboration and participation from all parties.”

Samsung, meanwhile, is another of the big handset makers with a foldable smartphone set to be showed off soon, though what Xiaomi is working on arguably makes Samsung’s (which folds in half, like a book) seem a bit tame by comparison. Per LetsGoDigital’s reporting, it’s also still not clear when Xiaomi plans to release its double-folding device — though a research report out of Korea hints at the second half of 2019.

We also could see the company show it off at MWC 2019, during which several companies will of course be touting their foldable handsets.

By way of adding a few more details about what we can expect with the double-folding phone from Xiaomi, LetsGoDigital reports that when you fold the two sides of the screen, they’ll close in the middle on the back of the device. Once folded, you’ll have “relatively short, wide telephone” at your disposal that sports a power button near the top and space for a USB Type-C connection at the bottom.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.