It's a busy season for cool rollable and foldable phones right now, as CES 2021 has given us closer looks at previously-teased rollables from TCL and LG, which is why we got excited at news that a Xiaomi foldable phone was spotted in public. However, after seeing the phone, we're not so sure about it.
These images come from a user of Chinese social media platform Weibo, taken of someone using a Xiaomi foldable phone in a subway car. You can tell it's a Xiaomi phone because it's clearly running MIUI, Xiaomi's Android overlay. The images have since been taken down, but MyFixGuide managed to save them first.
In the pictures we can see someone using a book-style foldable, like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and clearly a different thing to the foldable Xiaomi previously teased, which had two hinges. Unfortunately, this new design has a big problem.
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It needs to be de-creased
A big metric for judging foldable phones is how apparent the crease, where the device folds, is on the screen. If it's very obvious, and sticks out from the display, it can be an impediment to using the handset, and we found this for several early foldables.
This Xiaomi foldable phone has a crease you could probably see from the moon - it's huge, looking like a vortex that would drag your finger into it when your digits stray near. We can't imagine the display is fun to use with that thing ripping through it.
We can't use this foldable phone to make sweeping statements about Xiaomi's future ones though, as it's likely just a prototype or test model intended to experiment with a certain design.
We've got no idea of when Xiaomi will officially launch its first foldable phone, but since 2021 is looking like 'the year of foldable phones', hopefully it'll come soon.