Despite having multiple bites at the folding phone pie, the Samsung Galaxy Fold series has so far failed to win phone users over due to its wallet-breakingly high price point and numerous, well-documented failings.
At £1,799 the most recent attempt, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, demands double what a regular non-flagship phone asks for and, well, that's a really tough ask in 2020 for most normal people.
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Luckily, though, Xiaomi appears to be riding to the market's rescue with a new folding phone of its very own. And anyone who knows Xiaomi understands that it is a brand that prides itself in bringing new technology to the masses at an affordable price point.
The revelation that a folding Xiaomi smartphone is incoming comes courtesy of tech site LetsGoDigital, which reports on an official Xiaomi patent application that was filed by Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co. Ltd. at the CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration).
This application was fully approved and published on 20 October, 2020, and details an inwardly folding foldable phone that closely resembles the design of the Samsung Galaxy Fold series.
The design, which can be seen in the above and below patent illustrations, has an exterior 4.6-inch screen, a 7.3 internal screen (when folded out) and a triple lens camera system (or dual lens with flash).
When can we expect to see this folding Xiaomi phone? Well, nothing has yet been officially announced, however, rumors earlier in 2020 suggest that this new device is going to debut in 2021.
The Xiaomi folding phone hype began back in January when a teaser video (can be watched below) showed president of Xiaomi Lin Bin using a foldable device. This was at that point described as a prototype, but the existence of the product showed that the Chinese phone maker was currently experimenting with foldables.
And now we have yet another clue in the Xiaomi foldable phone puzzle, and it is one that indicates that when the device does arrive, it may look very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Fold series and, most excitingly, could cost half the price.
Back in March this year a report stated that the Xiaomi foldable will cost $999 in the US and €999 in Europe (that converts at about £908). And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that £908 is a smaller number than £1799.
If Xiaomi can bring a folding phone to market for under £1,000 then that will absolutely be a game-changer in the industry, as it will mean that the devices aren't just the niche preserve of the very wealthy.
Fingers crossed, then, that we hear more about this Xiaomi folding phone soon, as the more we see here at T3 the more we like.