Challenging production, limited release
That being said, the company attributes each individual innovation to the “joint, cumulative R&D efforts from supply chain partners and the device manufacturer”, highlighting the folding screen alone couldn’t have been “easily turned into a folding smartphone without significant breakthroughs in technology.” Naturally, the trickiest thing to execute is a robust folding mechanism, but Xiaomi says technical challenges posed in three different form factors have been “conquered.”
Indeed, Bin Lin’s recent surprising hands-on video showed a sturdy-looking product capable of switching from smartphone to tablet mode without exhibiting obvious weaknesses. But the road from pre-release prototype to store shelves and then users’ pockets is often as bumpy and convoluted as the road from concept to working prototype.
Beautiful 3D renders will haunt your dreams
If we’re being completely honest, this bad boy makes the Samsung Galaxy Fold seem quite unambitious, essentially tapping into the full potential of the revolutionary foldable concept. If executed properly, the Xiaomi Dual Flex (or Mi Mix Flex) would allow users to fold two sections of the “tablet” screen behind another portion that would become a relatively short, wide, and surprisingly thin phone.
That sounds (and looks) like the epitome of user flexibility, although durability and software remain major concerns. The folding mechanism needs to withstand long-term use and the constant strain of tablet-to-phone metamorphosis, while Xiaomi’s proprietary MIUI platform will have to be perfectly adapted to both usage scenarios. But let’s not be so negative and praise Xiaomi’s unique vision rather than focusing solely on what might go wrong in the final stages of development.