Foldable devices are getting more and more buzz, and we might even see one this year. Notable tipster Evan Blass tweeted a video of what could be a Xiaomi tablet that folds into thirds, though he noted that he couldn’t verify its authenticity.
Can't speak to the authenticity of this video or device, but it's allegedly made by Xiaomi, I'm told. Hot new phone, or gadget porn deepfake? pic.twitter.com/qwFogWiE2FJanuary 3, 2019
Though it’s unclear if this is actually a Xiaomi product, or even if it’s anywhere near market-ready, the tablet does seem to function and respond to touch gestures before folding up without seams.
But is it a real product, or is it a “gadget porn deepfake” as Blass noted in his tweet? If it’s an actual device, it’s far ahead of what other manufacturers have been capable of in their revealed products.
The race to reveal foldables is on
While Samsung has been working to release a foldable device for years, it finally demonstrated the so-called Galaxy X on (a very shadowed) stage last fall. That phone’s ‘Infinity Flex’ display folds along a single crease, clamshell-style, with another screen on the front.
In contrast, the purported Xiaomi tablet bends in thirds down to a size comparable to a smartphone. Other manufacturers are trying different methods to achieve both form factors: the Royole FlexPai, which might be the first foldable device to market, folds in half (though the hinge is still large enough that it doesn’t fold flat).
Other big phone manufacturers are racing to reveal their own foldable phones, especially after Google confirmed Android will support foldable phones. Oppo claims it will unveil its foldable device at Mobile World Congress in February, and while LG was supposed to show off its own device at CES 2019, that reveal might be delayed for awhile.
- Before foldable phones take over, check out our list of the best smartphones on the market