Renders based on a patent filed by Xiaomi show that the brand has ambitious plans to compete with the stunning new Motorola Razr.
The renders, published by Windows United, show off a foldable concept whereby the phone looks just like a normal handset when it’s opened up, but can then fold in half.
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The smaller secondary screen on the back of the device looks fairly limited, showing only the time and a few status settings such as battery or Wi-Fi connection strength.
The phone could attract people who don’t want a tablet-like device, but would nonetheless like to save a bit of space in their pockets.
The main competitor to this device is likely to be the Motorola Razr 2019.
The two handsets have a pretty similar form factor, but if Xiaomi was to actually make this device, it could easily take the front foot on specs.
Surprisingly, given that it costs $1499, the Razr is firmly in the mid-range of the smartphone spectrum, with a Snapdragon 710 processor running the show. The selling point is undoubtedly its novel approach to design, but if Xiaomi can deliver a similar style with more substance, then it could be onto a winner.
The other foldable on the scene right now is the (in)famous Samsung Galaxy Fold, which has been tweaked since its disastrous botched initial release, when reviewers found compromising flaws with the display.
We’ve been hands-on with it, and were impressed by the innovative design − though it could certainly look a lot better − the strong batteries, and the sheer number of cameras it offers. That said, its cameras aren’t up there with the best of them despite the nearly-£2000 price tag, and it does still feel delicate.
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The next foldable set to arrive is the Huawei Mate X, which has already hit the Chinese market in limited quantities. We await to see which of this range of innovative designs will be the most successful with consumers, but it’s quite possible that Xiaomi’s patent will find a receptive audience.