But Oppo isn't the only Chinese company in the rollable phone game: enter Xiaomi. The manufacturer is looking to roll over the competition with a very advanced-looking smartphone design.
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The below image, sketched out by LetsGoDigital, gives us a look at just how flexible Xiaomi's design could be. Its patent for a "terminal with a flexible screen" was approved by the United States Patent Office in October 2020.
The "flexible screen" can expand and retract, extending out to the size of a tablet at its maximum. Your displayed apps will adjust as necessary. Proprietary technology creates a crease-less display as you roll it in and out, and it allows you to put pressure on the screen without fear of damaging the device. An on/off button at the top of the phone can be used to activate screensaver mode, during which you can slide the screen to your preferred size. The phone's WiFi and GPS antennae are also located near the button.
However, this design actually includes two screens, making it a double-sided device. This second screen is a regular display on the rear, allowing you to quickly use the device without the need to roll out the flexible screen to your preferred width. For the sake of performance and battery life, this second screen may not always be activated, but both can be used in conjunction in certain circumstances, such as taking photos.
This is all better understood through video. Fortunately, graphic designer Jermaine Smit, aka Concept Creator, has done just that for LetsGoDigital. You can watch his work for a better understanding of Xiaomi's design above.
Xiaomi's patent gives no indication of what the phone's camera system may look like, so Concept Creator's video pulls double duty in helping us envision that too. The video lifts the vertical camera system of Xiaomi's Mi Max Alpha.
We're left with two questions after watching the concept video. How will this device fare in the upcoming rollable phone market, and what will such a device cost? There's a chance we may hear more about LG's own rollable phone, the Slide, during CES 2021. The all-digital event runs from January 11-14. The first model to market will likely set the price precedent for similar phones to come.