Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, is no stranger to curved or foldable screens, but the company has stayed away from these phones so far. The Mi Mix Alpha was left on the concept stage last year, but Xiaomi seems to be looking to bring big changes this year. The company has published a new patent for a foldable phone with a triple-fold (tri-fold) design which is rendered by Pigtou.
It seems Samsung isn’t the only company trying to cash in on foldable phones in 2021. The patent shows a phone that’s very similar to the patent leak we showed you earlier about the possible Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
That means the phone has separate external and internal hinges, which would allow for different ways to set up the phone. It has one flat but curved screen, which can be folded in both directions. You can also triple fold the device into a more like form factor, though it will evidently be much thicker than usual smartphones.
A striking difference between this and Samsung’s Trifold though is the overall shape. Samsung usually chooses slightly rounded corners, while the Xiaomi device seems to have a sharper square design.
Further, it’s also worth noting that Samsung has a patent on the same, so it’s possible that Xiaomi’s phone will fold in more ways. Or perhaps have different shapes that it can be used in. It also has a punch-hole camera on the front screen.
Xiaomi Tri-Fold expected specs
It’s of course too early for specifications of the device, but going by how Xiaomi placed the Mi Mix Alpha last year, this will certainly be a flagship-class phone. The company chose the Snapdragon 855+ chipset for the Mi Mix Alpha last year, which was a step behind the Snapdragon 865, which was the flagship then. So, it’s possible that this tri-fold phone will get the Snapdragon 865 instead of a Snapdragon 888.
We expect at least one of the cameras to be a 64MP shooter, and possibly a 48MP one to go with it. The third one should be a telephoto camera with a lower resolution. Xiaomi will probably have to leave the 108MP sensor — which it has been putting on its recent flagships — out from this one because this foldable screen will definitely ramp up its bill of materials (BOM) cost.
Xiaomi Tri-Fold expected price and release date
This design is still likely to be in the concept stage, the company hasn’t yet confirmed any launch details. What would be more interesting though is the pricing for the phone. Samsung and Motorola have both chosen really high price tags, but Xiaomi is usually known for making devices more affordable. Perhaps the company will be able to choose closer to the $1000 price tag instead of the $2000 barrier that Samsung and Motorola have used, although that would probably be challenging.