Xiaomi teased a foldable smartphone prototype back in January but we haven't really heard much from the company since then. Now, a new report has revealed that Xiaomi is working on a foldable smartphone in a clamshell form that mimics the design of the Motorola Razr.

Vertically folding design

The folks at well-known patent and trademark leaker LetsGoDigital got their hands on Xiaomi's patent filing, which it applied for in 2018 but wasn't approved until recently by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Xiaomi's application reveals the vertically-folding format of its upcoming foldable offering along.

The device features a large display which folds vertically like a flip phone, protecting the screen on the inside as a result. A secondary screen may appear at the front once the phone is folded and will most likely be used to display notifications and other information regarding incoming calls and messages without having to unfold the main screen.

The Chinese tech giant has teased its foldable smartphone prototype in the past but with a double-folding design, similar to the Galaxy Fold and Mate X which fold outwards to become tablets.

Camera Setup

Xiaomi's new foldable smartphone patent reveals a pop-up selfie camera setup. The selfie camera setup includes a camera, a flash, and an additional sensor which probably has something to do with facial recognition, according to LetsGoDigital.

xiaomi giveaway
Attendants are silhouetted in front of Xiaomi's logo at a venue for the launch ceremony of Xiaomi's new smart phone Mi Max in Beijing, May 10, 2016 Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo/Reuters

There's a separate camera array on the phone's rear, which includes a dual-sensor module alongside the flash. A patent application leaked in August had suggested that the upcoming Xiaomi foldable would include a triple camera setup on the back.

Companies file several patents and it doesn't necessarily mean Xiaomi's foldable will go with this design. Xiaomi could just be covering its bases as far as foldable phones go, trying to find the right design it can eventually bring to the market. Apart from Xiaomi, Samsung is also working on a clamshell foldable phone design that is reported to feature an ultra-thin glass display that is as thin as a human hair.

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