Xiaomi patents foldable phone with a wraparound screen like on the Mi Mix Alpha

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In late 2019, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Mix Alpha with a curious design that had a single screen binding around the front, side and back of the device. So earlier this year, it launched its first foldable, Mi Mix Fold. What if there was a phone that combined both of these designs? Xiaomi has already considered such an option and filed a patent on the design last year, even though the documents were only released today.

The device really looks like a mix between Alpha and Fold. It is essentially an inward folder, except that the secondary screen on the outside is not a separate panel, but instead a part of the main panel that wraps around the side of one of the folding halves.

Xiaomi patents a folding phone with a wrapping screen like the Mi Mix Alpha

Xiaomi patents a folding phone with a wrapping screen like the Mi Mix Alpha

The thicker part that holds the cameras is reminiscent of Alpha, which lacked a “front” facing camera – it didn’t need one either, as the wrapping screen allowed users to take selfies with the main camera. “Would have allowed”, anyway, when the phone was canceled before launch.

Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun mentioned that the wrap screen is a challenge to manufacture while announcing the phone. With the subsequent cancellation, it is clear that it is really a big obstacle to overcome. And that was without the added complexity of a folding mechanism.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha
Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha • Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Rumor has it that Xiaomi is preparing to launch another foldable in Q4 – could it be? Unlikely, partly because rumor has it that the device will have two separate monitors, a 120 Hz panel from Samsung and a 90 Hz panel from Visionox. And partly because such a device would be extra difficult to build (and thus more expensive than even current foldable).

Source (in Dutch)

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