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Stunning Xiaomi teaser builds up hope for foldable smartphones

Xiaomi has released a stunning new clip teasing what it calls “the world’s first double folding mobile phone” − and it’s got us all excited about flexible smartphones again.

The company’s co-founder and president, Lin Bin, posted a clip to Weibo this week, revealing a tablet that folds in two places to become a smartphone. You can watch the teaser here.

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There’s a bit of screen judder when the device switches from tablet to smartphone mode, and the handset looks slightly chunky in phone mode, but all in all this actually looks like something we can imagine people using.

Lin Bin hasn’t revealed any specs or major details, saying this is just a concept device. However, if the interest is there, he says Xiaomi will consider bringing something along these lines to market.

“Xiaomi double folding mobile phone is coming!” Lin Bin wrote in his Weibo post (via Google Translate). “After conquering a series of technical problems such as flexible folding screen technology, four-wheel drive folding shaft technology, flexible cover technology, and MIUI adaptation, we made the first folding screen mobile phone, which should be the world’s first double folding mobile phone.

“This symmetrical double-folded form perfectly combines the experience of the tablet and mobile phone, which is both practical and beautiful. Although it is still an engineering machine, it is sent out for everyone to see.”

The post continues: “If you like it, we will consider making a mass production machine in the future. In addition, we want to give this engineering machine a name, what do you think is good? I think of two: Xiaomi Dual Flex, Xiaomi MIX Flex. Welcome everyone to make suggestions!”

Everyone knows that Samsung is planning to launch a folding handset in the near future, but the sheer number of teasers the South Korean firm has dropped over the past few months years in an attempt to hype us up for the device has actually sucked away much of our initial enthusiasm. Just get on with it already.

We also got to spend time with the Royole FlexPai at CES 2019, and it’s safe to say we were underwhelmed.

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“It’s clear the FlexPai has been rushed out to ensure it claims the crown of the world’s first foldable phone,” we wrote in our hands-on. “It’s a shame then, that it’ll likely be remembered for its terrible user experience rather than its genuinely interesting foldable design.”

Hopefully foldable smartphones are worth the wait.

How do you feel about foldable smartphones? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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