Recent information from the State Intellectual Property Office (China) shows that Xiaomi recently acquired a patent for a smartphone that uses a three-sided surround screen design. According to the query information on the patent database, Xiaomi applied for the patent since 2019 but it was officially announced on January 10, 2020.
It can be seen from the design sketch in the patent that this phone uses a three-sided surround screen design. In addition to the front and rear screens, the right side of the phone is also a screen. The three bezels on the front of the phone look relatively narrow. The front camera is hidden while the rear uses a dual-camera setup. There are reports that this device is a foldable phone. However, there is no mention of this in the brief description of this smartphone.
Xiaomi recently got patents for two foldable phones
In a recent patent, Xiaomi may work on a foldable phone that would fold horizontally and the screen would be constantly exposed. Basically, we have the same concept used by Huawei in its Mate X. When opened we would have a device with a screen above 8 inches. A dimension that comes closer to a tablet than a smartphone. When folded, its size would naturally be more ergonomic. The big drawback of this approach is the constant exposure of the screen, something that enhances the fragility of the device. Some may compare this exposure with current conventional smartphones, but the cost of repairing this screen would be substantially higher.
Another patent design actually shows off a vertically-folding smartphone. This device is considerably different from anything else we’ve seen as it folds outwards. Pretty much every vertically-folding handset that we’ve seen has a display on the inside. Well, not this one, not at all. This phone not only has its display on the outside, but it’s also quite a bold design. When folded, you get bezels on three sides, bottom, left, and right. Those bezels are extremely thin, while the top bezel is non-existent. On the back, you’ll notice that the vast majority of the phone is also covered by the display, though the bezel on the bottom is thicker. Inside of that display on the back sits the camera module. That camera module is quite large, and when unfolded, using this phone will be quite odd. We cannot imagine using that display with such a huge camera module on it.