The folding phone form factor had a rough start with the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which had some design issues that required the users to handle the device with utmost care. However, the smartphone industry hasn’t given up hope on the concept of a foldable device with companies like Xiaomi and Samsung applying for new foldable phone designs and the Huawei Mate X being launched recently after a delay.
The year 2020 is expected to have a surge of foldable smartphones since many companies are investing in the foldable form factor. One such company is Xiaomi, which recently patented a foldable phone concept that folds vertically.
Vertical Phone Patent Granted to Xiaomi
Xiaomi was granted the patent by CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration). The design resembles that of a flip phone with the difference that the keyboard is replaced by a folding display that unfolds into a large-sized screen.
This foldable design concept is unlike the form factor that we’ve seen on the Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate X. Those devices are more like tablets. However, the Xiaomi patent showcases a device that feels more like a smartphone.
When the device is folded, it becomes compact which can easily fit in a pocket and takes up lesser space when compared to regular smartphones. On top of the lid, there is a small display. The smaller display will most likely be used to show notifications and caller IDs.
In the unfolded state, the device takes the form factor of a regular-sized smartphone with minimum bezels. There is a forehead, which contains dual front-facing cameras, a speaker as well as other sensors. The back of the device also features a dual-camera setup like the front.
Other Foldable Phone Design by Xiaomi
Apart from the vertically folding display design that is showcased in this patent, Xiaomi also released a video earlier this year, which highlighted a device that folded horizontally but with two folds. In the video, Xiaomi’s co-founder and President Lin Bin showcased the fully working prototype device and used the device to read the text, take pictures and play videos.
In the unfolded state, the device looks like a tablet and when it is folded, it becomes a smartphone that can be easily kept in a pocket. The design looks promising but we haven’t heard about this design after the release of the prototype video.
Xiaomi Foldable Smartphone Expected Release Date
There isn’t any official announcement of the foldable phone release by Xiaomi yet. We know that Xiaomi is working on multiple foldable phone designs and we aren’t sure which design will see the light of the day and when it will be released. However, Xiaomi is expected to release a foldable phone by the end of 2019.