There was a time when foldable phones taking over the phone era. That was before widescreen phones or smartphones being the trend of mobile phones as they are today.
It seems that Xiaomi sees the opportunity for foldable phones to become a mobile trend in 2020. This is proven by the filing of patents on two of the latest Xiaomi devices since December 2019, and the patent was granted on 10 January 2020 by the Chinese Patent Office (CNIPA). Both devices are allegedly Xiaomi’s first foldable phones.
In fact, Xiaomi does not mention that the two devices submitted for patents are foldable phones. However, if look closely, they are indeed similar folding phones that seem to have different folding mechanisms.
The design of the first device shows a screen that can be folded out (outwards) horizontally. The screen is decorated with a thick bezel on the left side which holds a row of cameras. This design is reminiscent of the Huawei Mate X which was introduced last year.
The design of the second device, using a vertical or clamshell fold mechanism, as found on the Motorola Razr.
The difference between the Motorola Razr and the second Xiaomi device is: the Motorola Razr is folded inward while the Xiaomi’s is folded outwards. That is, when folded, the front and back of the Xiaomi phone will be covered by the screen.
In addition, there are also rows of cameras arranged vertically mounted on one side of the mobile screen.
Although the design is revealed in the patent document, Xiaomi has not confirmed whether these two smartphones will be realized in a real product or not.
It is possible that both of these devices are foldable phones, but devices that are equipped with screens that surround the entire body of the cellphone, such as Mi Mix Alpha.
At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona, Spain, in February 2020, Xiaomi itself is rumoured to be presenting information related to its folding devices.
Instead, the upcoming Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro are teased during the event.