Back in January, Xiaomi president Bin Lin posted an image showing off Xiaomi's double-folding smartphone
. The picture showing the executive handling the device revealed that it bends at the top and bottom of the device. The picture was posted in January, weeks before Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Fold
. When both "wings" are folded in, the Xiaomi unit becomes a phone by leaving a small screen in the center. Opening up both "wings" gives the device a tablet sized display.
Today, a new 10-second video starring Xiaomi's foldable was discovered on Xiaomi's weibo site and posted on YouTube (via CNET
). There is speculation that the device will be released sometime in the second quarter of the year, priced at the equivalent of $999 USD. Similar to the Huawei Mate X
, that company's outward folding $2,600 device, the Xiaomi foldable will not be available in the U.S. If the rumored pricing is true, Xiaomi will once again have come to market with its value for money policy and blown away the competition on pricing. And while you can never tell what a device looks like from a 10-second video, some say that the double folding Xiaomi screen offers a superior technology to what Samsung has with the Galaxy Fold
With Oppo, and TCL also announcing that they are prepping foldable phones, it could turn out that Samsung's lone challenger for leadership in this niche category in the U.S. this year will be the Motorola RAZR (2019)
. Motorola is looking to capitalize on nostalgia to sell the folding Android powered version of the clamshell phone. The original featurephone model sold over 130 million units in just four years. The device, however, will not carry the high-end specs found on the Galaxy Fold.
The RAZR (2019) will supposedly carry a small external screen with a resolution of 600 x 800 and an aspect ratio of 4:3. The clamshell opens up vertically to reveal a large 6.2
-inch display with a resolution of 876 x 2142. That works out to an aspect ratio of almost 22:9 making the display tall and thin. The Snapdragon 710 Mobile Platform is expected to power the RAZR (2019) with two variants; one has 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The other comes with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. The price of Motorola's device, rumored to be $1,500, compares with the $1,980 for Sammy's more flagship spec'd Galaxy Fold.
Xiaomi could be the leader in foldable pricing and technology
So far, Xiaomi has yet to announce a press event related to its foldable phone. If Xiaomi follows its usual traditions, we will eventually see one of its executives drum up more media attention and desire for the product among consumers by posting a massive leak on its weibo page. We will be looking out for that. In the meantime, while it might take a few years to bring foldable smartphone prices down to a more affordable level, it could just be that Xiaomi is way ahead of the field in both pricing and in technology.