It is no secret that most innovative smartphone makers are training their focus on foldable devices since they are considered to be the future. After all, users get a massive screen real estate on demand while the makers get to experiment with different screen sizes taking dexterity to another level.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is said to be working on multiple foldable phones and one of them is expected to launch later this year. While sometime back we reported that the company has patented not but seven different designs of phones with foldable displays, now the company has reportedly filed another patent only to be bigger and better this time.
Looking at the patent document and images attached with it, one can easily say that this device, if it ever gets produced, could have the biggest display ever on a ‘smartphone’.
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Largest display on a phone?
The patent filed with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) suggests that this would be an inward folding design. And while most foldable phones, regardless of their design, use two displays – one external and the primary foldable display, Xiaomi’s new foldable could come with one massive display.
This primary display continues through the edge to form the secondary display. This means users will be interacting with the same continuous display that overflows from the edge and reacts differently based on the devices’ orientation. While it looks and sounds exotic, it also could result in additional costs in case of any damage to the display.
When folded, it could look like a large-screened phone with a waterfall display on one side. Though it will become a large screened tablet once unfolded.
The patent files show that the phone could have a large bump, like the Huawei Mate XS, on one side that not only will make it easy to hold onto and will essentially house the camera module and other sensors. The images seen here, show multiple camera modules that can work as rear-facing cameras when the device is folded and as a powerful selfie camera solution in tablet mode.
This would help cram the best possible camera sensors as they could serve the dual purpose and hence the phone will not require any notch or punch holes to house the display. However, on the downside, you might need to unfold the phone to tablet mode every time you need to take a selfie.
Been there, done that
It is not the first time that Xiaomi is working on a phone with a complex wrap-around display. The first foldable device that the company made - the Mi Mix Alpha had a wrap-around foldable design. Though the phone was never released to the public and even media wasn’t allowed to “touch and feel” the phone, it did seem to work efficiently in the videos released by the company.
Though the Mi Mix Alpha had an outward folding design, this new patent seems to be an extension of the same design thought but with an inward folding display which is considered to better protect the foldable mechanism and the display itself.
That being said, as always since this is a patent, we should keep expectations low and keep the fingers crossed that the phone manages to see the day of light.
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Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.