Back in 2019, Xiaomi applied for a patent at the CNIPA for a smartphone that folds outwards, similar to the devices in Huawei’s Mate X series. Now, more than three years later, developer Kuba Wojciechowski has shared some real images of the device. The Xiaomi foldable made it to the prototype stage but unfortunately never received a commercial release.
Xiaomi foldable patent
You can see that the basic design made it from patent to prototype model. A total of four cameras, an LED flash and a button to unlock the display are installed on the back. There are several images of the internal components of the Xiaomi phone showing a dual battery cell layout. The larger cell has a capacity of 3,500 mAh.
Xiaomi foldable prototype
The leak also confirms a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and X50 modem for 5G support. Wojciechowski also confirms that the project “was very secretive and very few units found their way into the public domain”. It’s safe to assume that durability was the biggest challenge with this design.
Xiaomi ultimately opted for an inward-folding approach with its Mix Fold models. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese manufacturer will try another display that can be folded outwards in the future.