The foldable smartphone race is well and truly on. With Samsung and LG leading the pack, Xiaomi has entered the race. Leaked images show a three-panel phone that folds on both the left and right sides. Is this a foldable phone from the Chinese giant? It certainly looks like it.
The news comes from the notorious and reputable leaker, Evan Blass. He shared a video of what is rumored to be Xiaomi's attempt at a foldable smartphone. Whilst not vouching for the authenticity of the footage himself, Blass tweeted that the video showed a Xioami phone. He also asked: "Hot new phone, or gadget porn deepfake?"
.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) 3 January 2018
Rather than fold inwards like Samsung's design, with an extra display eliminated once the device is in phone mode, the Xiaomi seems to follow Royole's method of folding outwards as the FlexPaidoes. It has been reported as far back as July 2018 that Xiaomi was working on a foldable phone, as we expect almost every major manufacturer to be at least exploring.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Xiaomi beat its competition to market with an innovative new device such as this. The Chinese brand has a reputation for pushing the boundaries when it comes to new smartphone ideas. The Mi Mix 3, with its sliding screen, is a testament to this.
The other major question that the leak raises regards the price. Xiaomi's business model strongly relies on undercutting its competition at the checkout. If we assume that this philosophy is not changing, this device leaked here might be the most affordable foldable smartphone you will be able to buy in 2019.
Since Samsung revealed its vision for a foldable future of smartphones, analysist have pitched the price of the Korean company's new device as anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500. It will be interesting to see how much lower Xiaomi can get its foldable device on the market for.
Xiaomi is yet to confirm that it is working on a foldable phone, and this could just be a prototype. The software does look like genuine MIUI, however, and the level of detail in the operation would be extremely difficult to fake.
What do you think about the leak? Is this a real Xioami foldable smartphone? Let us know.