Xiaomi Foldable Phone: New Teaser Video Showcases a Crucial Improvement
It could be here very soon.
Xiaomi’s upcoming foldable phone has reemerged online to give technophiles another glimpse of its potentially transformable display. In the latest clip, the Chinese smartphone maker demonstrates two of the display’s signature features: Its new gesture control capabilities and that it can easily switch between its two different orientations.
The footage was first published on the Chinese social media site Weibo on February 27 but didn’t begin appearing in American media until Thursday. In the video clipped above, a user begins by scrolling through Weibo on the device’s tablet display. First, they demonstrate the gesture controls by flicking the right of the screen which returns them to the home screen. They then flip it horizontally and bend its sides inwards, as if it were a pamphlet, to turn it into a pocket-sized handset.
The demo is a bit of a rehashing of a previous demo video the company published in January, where Xiaomi president Lin Bin showed off how apps will dynamically adjust to better-suit either the phone’s tablet or smartphone display. It’s an identical proposal to the App Continuity feature used in Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, though Xiaomi appears to have addressed some of the issues present in its last video.
There are a few key improvements that are noticeable in the video. For one, transitioning from the gadget’s tablet-sized display to its smartphone-sized display appears to be much smoother. In Bin’s video, the phone seemed slightly stiffer and apps stuttered heavily when the display size was changed. In this new video, using Xiaomi’s new device seemed more fluid, which is reassuring seeing as the device might launch within the next few months.
Xiaomi Foldable Phone: Release Date
Earlier in March, the Indian tech blog Igyaan cited anonymous sources in Xiaomi’s supply chain sources who claimed the company is aiming to announce its foldable phone some time between April and early June.
The report goes on to say that the company will host a global launch event in China followed by a few smaller events aimed at specific markets. Excitingly, these leakers also indicated that it could be the most affordable foldable phone to hit the market.
Xiaomi Foldable Phone: Potential Price
Igyaan’s sources also claimed that Xiaomi plans to price its foldable phone at $999, the same price as an iPhone XS and roughly $1,000 cheaper than the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X. But we should still probably take this pricing with a grain of salt.
Every foldable phone that’s been announced so far has been posed as a luxury device that is largely meant to test the waters in this emerging gadget’s possible market. It’s possible that Xiaomi wants to capitalize on its competitor’s eye-watering price tags by producing a more affordable foldable phone capable of being marketed to the masses. But that this cutting-edge tech could be priced so closely to standard handsets seems too good to be true.
Xiaomi Foldable Phone: Competitors
For now, Xiaomi faces competition from Samsung and Huawei, whose devices start at $1,980 and $2,600 respectively.
The Huawei Mate X uses the same pamphlet design as Xiaomi’s unreleased foldable phone. The major difference between the two is that Huawei’s device is 5G-enabled, while it’s still unclear if Xiaomi’s tablet-smartphone hybrid will support the next-generation of broadband connectivity.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is also unique, and remains the only foldable device that also comes with an internal screen. The tech giant went with more of a booklet-like design, and the phone comes with a small cover screen that opens up into a tablet, in contrast to Xiaomi and Huawei’s pamphlet design.
The age of the foldable phone is still in its early days, but we are already starting to see two distinctive design approaches. Once it releases, Xiaomi would be the third big smartphone maker to throw its hat into the race. Particularly if it’s device turns out to be as cheap as Igyaan reported, it could be a game-changer.