It's no secret that Samsung is hard at work on a folding flagship smartphone, dubbed Galaxy X, that sports two separate screens, including a flexible OLED panel that unfolds like the central pages of a paperback novel. After briefly revealing a heavily-disguised prototype of the new device during its annual developer conference in San Fransisco back in November 2018, Samsung has kept shtum.
But while we haven't heard anything from the Galaxy X in a while, Samsung's competitors certainly aren't hanging about. With Huawei seemingly already at work on a rival foldable phone, serial leaker Evan Blass (opens in new tab) has now revealed what appears to be a competitor from Haidian District-based firm Xiaomi.
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In the clip, shared on social media website Twitter, the tablet-sized device can be seen navigating around the Google Maps interface before both sides are folded backwards to create a smartphone-like form factor.
It's unclear from the short video, but the flexible smartphone is likely to be much thicker than a standard handset, given the way the screen folds back on itself twice.
In his tweet, serial leakster Evan Blass (opens in new tab) says he can’t vouch for authenticity of the video, but given that rumours of Xiaomi building its own foldable smartphone have been circulating since 2016, we wouldn't be surprised if this was genuine.
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
While there's no shortage of companies working on folding phones, every firm has a slightly different approach to the emerging trend – while Samsung plans to use two screens on its device, Chinese company Royole has a single screen that folds once.
The advantage of these folding screens is allowing smartphone owners to increase the amount of screen real estate on a whim. While larger phablet-sized devices have become increasingly popular amongst consumers, the mammoth displays can be cumbersome to use – especially one-handed.
Being able to unfurl the full display before watching a film, but folding it away when texting on the move could solve this problem once and for all, manufacturers hope.
Xiaomi recently announced plans to hold a press conference on January 10, 2019 where it's expected to announce plans to spin-off its Redmi range into a separate sub-brand. Perhaps there will be time for a surprise announcement as well?
Lead Image Credit: Twitter / EvLeaks (opens in new tab)