Xiaomi Reveals Dual-Folding Flexible Phone in Teaser Video

Amidst increasing hype about foldable displays, Xiaomi has revealed that it is also working on its own flexible phone.


The Chinese mobile maker broke the news with a teaser video posted on Weibo that shows Xiaomi president and co-founder Lin Bin using what at first looks like a normal tablet device, until he folds back both sides of the display so that it resembles a distinctly phone-like form factor.

The physical power button is side-mounted on the device when in landscape orientation, which places it in a top-center location when in phone mode. In a neat touch, the size and orientation of the user interface also automatically adjusts in order to conform to the new dimensions of the display.

In a message accompanying the post, Bin wrote that the device is the result of the company overcoming technical challenges relating to folding displays, foldable hinges, flexible covers, and UI adaptation.

Bin admitted that what he hopes will become "the world's first dual-folding phone" is still just a prototype at this stage, but said that the company will consider mass producing it if the response from consumers is positive. Bin floated two possible names for the phone – the Mi Dual Flex and the Mi MIX Flex – although he said Xiaomi is open to suggestions from the public.

Last year, Samsung showed off its new Infinity Flex display technology in a device that features a 7.3-inch flexible display that can be folded in half. The company said it had developed an advanced composite polymer that's "flexible and tough" to replace the glass that's usually used as a display cover in smartphones.

Samsung is expected to formally announce its first commercially available foldable phone during its Galaxy S10 event on February 20 in San Francisco, California.

Rumors that Apple is developing an iPhone with a foldable display stretch back to December 2016, when it was reported that LG's display division would begin mass-producing foldable displays for smartphones as early as 2018. Apple was said to have chosen to work with LG Display and not Samsung out of fears that Samsung could get ahold of the sensitive tech.

LG is said to have created a dedicated task force to start developing a foldable OLED display for a future iPhone, while its siser company LG Innotek has a team developing a rigid flexible printed circuit board or (RFPCB) to go along with it.

LG has shown off several foldable display prototypes over recent years, including one that folds over like a book and a second that rolls up much like a newspaper.

Tag: Xiaomi

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Xiaomi Unveils Its Own AirPods Clones

Xiaomi today unveiled a new version of its AirDots wireless headphones, and it's safe to say that the average consumer on the street would be hard pressed to distinguish the look from Apple's own AirPods.


The Chinese mobile maker first appeared to take a leaf out of Apple's playbook back in November with the launch of its original AirDots, which were more akin to classic earbuds in design but offered much of the same functionality as AirPods, including gestural controls and a compact charging case.

Xiaomi's newly announced AirDots Pro (aka "Mi Bluetooth Headset Air") buds however look like a straight-up clone of Apple's best-selling wireless headphones, complete with the signature "arm" that houses the Bluetooth receiver and beamforming microphone.

Like AirPods, the earpieces feature touch controls for music playback and invoking personal assistants, and they're able to function independently of each other thanks to adaptive pairing. They also offer water resistance and a four-hour battery life, while the charging case offers an additional 10 hours of charge and can recharge the buds fully in one hour.


To their credit, the AirDots Pro have silicone tips for improved sound isolation and additional active noise cancelation. A black pair is also reportedly in the works. Still, the biggest difference is probably the price – Xiaomi's buds cost 399 Yuan (around $60), whereas Apple's come in at $159. How that saving impacts on sound quality and general performance remains to be seen.

Xiaomi devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets, have been criticized in the past for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.

In 2017, Apple won the right to prevent Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from registering its "Mi Pad" mobile tablet device as an EU trademark because the name was deemed too similar to Apple's iPad.

(Via gizchina.com.)


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Global Shipments of 3D Sensing Smartphones Predicted to Reach 100 Million Units This Year

Global shipments of 3D sensing smartphones are expected to reach over 100 million units in 2018, according to China-based analyst Sigmaintell, as Android phone makers gradually adopt the technology that Apple introduced to market last year.

China-based Xiaomi and Oppo have already unveiled phones featuring their own versions of the 3D scanning technology that Apple launched in the iPhone X back in September, while Apple is expected to bring Face ID to three new iPhones that are set for launch in the fall.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

Announced in May, Xiaomi's 6.28-inch Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which combines 3D facial recognition technology and an in-display fingerprint sensor, is expected to hit stores in China on July 24, with a price tag in the region of $550.

In June, Oppo announced the Find X with a 6.42-inch AMOLED display. The 3D-sensing enabled phone is a direct competitor to the Mi 8, and features the same 8GB of RAM and Snapdragon 845 processor as its rival, with a higher price tag of around $750.

Also in June, Vivo unveiled new 3D sensing technology which it says has 10 times the accuracy of the Face ID authentication system in Apple's iPhone X.

Oppo Find X

Vivo's claim stems from its Time of Flight (TOF) system using 300,000 data points to map the user's face in three dimensions, compared to the 30,000 points of infrared light used in Apple's smartphone. The hardware is expected to feature in Vivo's new flagship model set for launch later this year, so whether the specs translate in practice to better security and accuracy remains to be seen.

As for Samsung, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 models already feature facial recognition, but it is 2D, and tests have proved that the systems could be spoofed with a photo of a face. The Korea-based firm is said to be considering adding more sophisticated 3D facial recognition to the Galaxy S9 lineup later this year.

Despite growing adoption of 3D sensing across the market, Apple will remain the primary vendor of the technology throughout 2018, with combined shipments of equivalent Android smartphones likely to reach only 12 million units, according to Sigmaintell.

(Via DigiTimes.)

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones

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Xiaomi Unveils Mi 8 Smartphone With iPhone X-Like Notch Design, Vertical Dual-Lens Camera System, and Animated Emoji Features

Chinese technology firm Xiaomi held a product launch event in Shenzhen today and unveiled the Mi 8, a 6.21-inch OLED smartphone that most observers would agree bears more than a passing resemblance to Apple's flagship iPhone X.

Xiaomi's Mi 8 isn't the first recent smartphone to sport an iPhone X-esque notch and probably won't be the last, but there are several other similarities between the two devices that are worth highlighting.

Xiaomi's eighth-anniversary Mi 8 AMOLED smartphone

For example, the cellular signal, battery, and Wi-Fi symbols sit either side of the notch, just like in iOS 11. In addition, the higher-tier Mi 8 model features the Xiaomi equivalent of Animojis as well as facial authentication – two tentpole features of Apple's iPhone X.

Flipping over the Mi 8 reveals a rear dual-lens camera system in vertical orientation, giving the back of the device an appearance that could be easily mistaken for Apple's smartphone.

The naming convention that Xiaomi has chosen for its new phone also arguably takes a page out of Apple's playbook – the Mi 8 follows the company's previous Mi 6 model, jumping a number in order to mark Xiaomi's eighth anniversary in the smartphone business.

Apple's iPhone X, pronounced "ten", skipped the number 9 and adopted the more flashy Roman numeral to reflect its next-generation technology, while also being a nod to the iPhone's tenth anniversary.

In terms of specs, the Mi 8 packs a 20-mexapixel front-facing camera, while the rear dual-lens array features two 12-megapixel cameras. Xiaomi claims the device's onboard dual GPS enhances location accuracy. This is also the first Android smartphone to use Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 chipset, which features on-device AI processing and a Gigabit LTE X20 modem.

Xiaomi's eighth-anniversary Mi 8 AMOLED smartphone

The company also announced a premium Explorer version of the Mi 8, which comes with a pressure-sensitive integrated finger scanner and a semi-transparent rear chassis.

Xiaomi's devices, ranging from televisions to tablets, have been publicly criticized in the past for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.

In the most recent case just last year, Apple won the right to prevent Xiaomi from registering its "Mi Pad" mobile tablet device as an EU trademark because the name was deemed too similar to Apple's iPad.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 will be available in China starting 5 and 8 June, starting at RMB 2699 ($420), with a smaller 5.88-inch sized ‘SE’ model priced from 1799 RMB (or $280). The Mi 8 Explorer Edition is priced at RMB 3699 ($520) and will be available at a later date.

Xiaomi has recently made a push into European markets, so it stands to reason that the company's latest smartphones will make their way over there in the not-too-distant future. Xiaomi hopes to enter into the U.S. smartphone market by the end of the year.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tag: Xiaomi
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)

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Xiaomi Takes on iPhone X With New Mi Mix 2S Smartphone Featuring Dual Camera System and Wireless Charging

Xiaomi unveiled its new Mi Mix 2S smartphone at a packed auditorium in Shanghai today, claiming that the handset surpasses iPhone X in several departments while only being half the price of Apple's flagship device.


From the front, the maximum screen, minimal bezel design of the 5.9-inch phone looks almost identical to the Mix Mix 2 announced barely six months ago, but there are some changes to the rear, and the handset includes a number of internal updates, including support for Qi wireless charging, but it still lacks rated water resistance.

Like the original Mix Mix 2, a slim bezel below the device's full HD LCD display houses a 5-megapixel front-facing camera in the right corner, which allows Xiaomi to avoid an iPhone X-esque notch area up top. Meanwhile, the ceramic back panel is home to a fingerprint sensor and a new 12-megapixel dual camera system consisting of a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens, with portrait mode features and optical image stabilization.


At one point during the event, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun compared the iPhone X and Mi Mix 2S cameras side-by-side to demonstrate how much faster the Mix 2S can focus and capture subjects in shot, owing to the phone's advanced dual-pixel autofocus. Lei Jun noted that the phone has picked up a DxOMark photo score of 101, with an overall score of 97 – the same as the iPhone X – and claimed that the camera can detect up to 216 scenes and translate text or convert currencies in real-time, thanks to its AI-powered capabilities.

Internally, the phone sports a new, more energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of memory, along with the same 3,400mAh battery as the earlier model, a mono speaker, and no headphone jack.


The Mix 2S will come in 64, 128, or 256GB of storage capacities, and is available in black or silver, both starting at 3,299 yuan (about $526) for the base model, and rising to 3,999 yuan (about $640) for the top-spec device which includes a 7.5W fast-charging wireless pad. The Android 8.0 Oreo-running handset will be available to buy in China from next week, before rolling out to Xiaomi's other established markets, which presumably precludes it from launching in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. However, the phone does support all global 4G LTE networks out of the box.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tag: Xiaomi
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Quick Takes: Xiaomi Plans to Enter U.S. Within a Year, Ritual Launches Apple Pay Promotion, and More

In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Monday, March 5


- Xiaomi plans to enter U.S. market within a year: "We've always been considering entering the U.S. market," Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun said at the sidelines of China's annual legislative session in Beijing, according to the WSJ. "We plan to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019."


Commentary: Xiaomi was the world's fifth-largest smartphone maker in 2017, with an estimated 92.4 million shipments, according to research firm IDC. To be successful in the United States, where Apple and Samsung reign supreme, the Chinese company will need a sales agreement with a big carrier like AT&T.

- Ritual launches Apple Pay promotion: Today through March 16, any customer who orders with the Ritual app and pays with Apple Pay will have access to exclusive daily deals at 1,300 restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and Toronto.


Commentary: Ritual is a mobile app for ordering and paying ahead of time at participating restaurants and coffee shops, enabling customers to skip the line and pick up their food instantly upon arrival.

- iPhone X supplier Finisar gives tour of its Texas facility: "We are trying to make this the VCSEL capital of the world," said Finisar Vice President Curt Barratt, referring to the small town of Sherman, Texas.


Commentary: VCSELs, or vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, are part of the TrueDepth camera system that enables Face ID on the iPhone X. In December, Apple announced it had awarded Finisar $390 million to expand its research and development and production capacity.

- Apple Park: Transcript of 911 calls about injuries from walking into glass: Following reports of some Apple employees walking into glass doors at the company's new headquarters, The San Francisco Chronicle obtained transcripts of 911 calls about related injuries via a public records request.


Commentary: Many people have accidentally walked into a door or two at some point. Hopefully the employees are okay. Apple is reportedly adding stickers to the glass doors to make them more visible.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.


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Huawei and Xiaomi Aiming to Rival iPhone in United States With AT&T and Verizon Sales Partnerships

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi are reportedly in discussions with carriers AT&T and Verizon, who may begin selling each company's flagship Android smartphones in the United States as early as next year.


The negotiations are still in progress, and it's possible no final agreements will materialize, according to Bloomberg News.

The news echoes an earlier report from The Information that claimed AT&T has tentatively agreed to sell at least one Huawei smartphone, which was believed to be a high-end model resembling the company's flagship Mate 10 handset.

A partnership with AT&T and/or Verizon would be a major win for Huawei, already the world's third largest smartphone maker by market share behind Samsung and Apple, which dominate the smartphone market in the United States.

Huawei is the most popular smartphone maker in China, and it has aggressively pushed into Europe and Canada, but it has considerably less brand awareness in the United States since no major carriers sell its smartphones in the country. American customers currently have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon to purchase a Huawei smartphone.

If it wants to achieve its lofty goal of becoming the largest smartphone maker in the entire world by 2021, Huawei will almost certainly have to secure these types of agreements with AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers.

Huawei remained in third place with an estimated 39.1 million smartphone shipments worldwide last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, while Apple reported sales of 46.7 million iPhones over that period. In the United States, Huawei held just a 0.2 percent share of the smartphone market as of June 2017, according to Counterpoint Research.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi said it aims to roll out smartphones in the United States within two years. Xiaomi is also considering opening retail stores in the country to increase its brand presence, according to the report.


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Apple Wins EU Trademark Case Against Xiaomi and its ‘Mi Pad’ Tablet

Apple Tuesday won the right to prevent Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from registering its "Mi Pad" mobile tablet device as an EU trademark because the name has been deemed too similar to Apple's iPad (via Reuters).

The General Court, the European Union's second highest, ruled that registering Mi Pad as a trademark was not in the public interest, as consumers were likely to be confused by the similarity of the signs.

"The dissimilarity between the signs at issue, resulting from the presence of the additional letter 'm' at the beginning of "Mi Pad", is not sufficient to offset the high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the two signs," the Court said in a statement.
The decision comes three years after Xiaomi filed an application with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as a trademark, which prompted Apple to lodge a complaint. The EUIPO sided with Apple's view, based on the grounds that Mi Pad could be misconstrued as a variation of the iPad trademark.
The court agreed with the EUIPO's decision and said English-speaking consumers were likely to understand the prefix "mi" as meaning "my" and therefore pronounce the "i" of Mi Pad and iPad in the same way.
Xiaomi could appeal against the ruling at the EU's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, but so far no statement on today's decision has been given by the Chinese mobile maker.

Xiaomi's expansion into Europe kicked off last month when it began selling its smartphones in Spain. The company has managed to become China's fourth largest mobile vendor by sales and has launched in dozens of other countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine, as part of a $1 billion overseas expansion drive.

Its devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets, have been publicly criticized in the past for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.


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Xiaomi’s Expansion into Europe Kicks Off With Smartphone Sales Launch in Spain

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is about to make good on stalled plans to expand into Western Europe, beginning with a sale launch in Spain on Wednesday. Xiaomi will initially offer to Spanish consumers its flagship Mi A1 device (229 euros) and its all-screen Mi Mix 2 smartphone (499 euros), pictured below.

In 2014, Xiaomi was briefly the world's most valuable startup in China, but intense competition from local rivals Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo saw its sales stall within two years.


Since that time, however, the company has overtaken Apple to become China's fourth largest mobile vendor by sales and has launched in dozens of other countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine, as part of a $1 billion overseas expansion drive.

The company also has a strong presence in India, where it currently comes second behind Samsung in smartphone sales. However, after past stumbles in more untested markets like Brazil, Xiaomi is now aiming for a more considered expansion across Europe.

"In order to be focused, we want to make Spain successful first," said Wang Xiang, Xiaomi's global sales VP, speaking to The Verge. "And then we can think of other markets and countries. We want to learn from the customers about the taste of European people."

Xiaomi had sold about 10 percent of its smartphones outside China since the middle of last year. However, the company also plans to sell other products in Spain, including internet-connected scooters, air purifiers, and coffee makers.

Tags: Spain, Xiaomi

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Xiaomi Takes Aim at Apple With New MacBook Pro and iPhone X Rivals

Chinese company Xiaomi today held an event in Beijing, where it unveiled new products that will rival the MacBook Pro and iPhone X.

First up was the new Mi Notebook Pro, with a fully metal enclosure that looks virtually identical to Apple's latest MacBook Pro in Space Gray.


Mi Notebook Pro is equipped with a 15.6-inch display with narrow bezels, a full-sized backlit keyboard, custom Harman Infinity speakers with Dolby Atmos sound, and seven ports: USB-C, data-only USB-C, dual USB 3.0, full-sized HDMI, a 3-in-1 SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The notebook is equipped with up to Intel's new eighth-generation Core i7 quad-core processor, up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card, and 256GB of SSD storage. It will run Windows 10 Home Edition out of the box, with support for Windows Hello fingerprint authentication.

Mi Notebook Pro pricing ranges from about $850 to $1,075 based on current exchange rates, which is under half the price of the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro, but The Verge found it only has a 1080p display.

Next up was the Mi Mix 2 smartphone, which has a nearly edge to edge 5.99-inch display on the front of the device, beyond a small bottom bezel or "chin" that is 12 percent slimmer than the original Mi Mix.


Mi Mix 2 is equipped with a 64-bit Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with four-axis optical image stabilization, and a rear fingerprint scanner. An earpiece speaker is hidden along the top edge, while the front-facing camera is housed in the bottom bezel.

Mi Mix 2 will likely ship with Xiaomi's MIUI operating system, based on Android. Pricing starts at about $500 at current exchange rates.

Like other Xiaomi products, the Mi Notebook Pro and Mi Mix 2 will be available soon in China, followed by other global markets. The devices will likely be available through resellers only in the United States.

Other announcements included a special ceramic edition of the Mi Mix 2 and a new Mi Note 3 phablet with dual cameras.

Xiaomi's event took place just one day before Apple's first-ever event at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater at its new Apple Park headquarters.

Tag: Xiaomi

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