Xiaomi‘s first foldable smartphone — Mi Mix Fold — has yet to arrive in the markets outside China. But the company already seems to be working on another foldable. This time around, with a clamshell form factor, like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3. The Chinese company has recently secured a patent from the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) for a clamshell folding smartphone design, suggesting that works are already underway.
The sketches in the patent documentation, first spotted by MySmartPrice, give us a hint of what Xiaomi has in the plans. The design is reminiscent of a certain Samsung foldable. We have two cameras and a tiny secondary display on the outside, all housed on a rectangular island on the upper half of the foldable phone. Xiaomi also seems to be looking to include an LED flash unit in that housing. On the inside, we can see a left-aligned pill-shaped cutout, which could be for a dual front-facing camera array.
This clamshell folding Xiaomi phone has its power key and volume rocker on the right edge. A SIM slot, a USB Type-C port, and a speaker grill occupy the bottom edge. The device seemingly lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, which isn’t surprising though.
This is all we know about this phone as of now. More information should surface in the coming months as Xiaomi progresses with its development.
Xiaomi is looking to jump on the clamshell foldable bandwagon
There are two types of foldable smartphones available currently. Firstly, we have the ones that look and work like regular phones when folded and unfold into a (kind of) tablet, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. The other ones are those clamshell foldables that unfold into a regular phone and snap into a tiny pocketable device when folded, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. The latter design has proved more popular among people globally.
Though Motorola was the first to launch a clamshell folding phone, throwing a bit of nostalgia with the Razr foldable in late 2019, Samsung has made this design popular with its Galaxy Z Flip series. The company has seen tremendous success with the latest model, the Galaxy Z Flip 3. So it’s no surprise that other brands also want to have a piece of the action.
Huawei has already introduced its version, the Huawei P50 Pocket. Motorola has also confirmed that it’s working on the third-gen Razr foldable. Xiaomi is now seemingly jumping on the clamshell foldable bandwagon as well. Since the Chinese company already has experience with the foldable game, it could get this phone out of the door pretty soon. We will keep you posted.