Xiaomi is back in the news, this time with a foldable tablet that’s been spotted in a leaked video. In the video, a device purportedly made by Xiaomi is seen and its screen is shown to be folding from the left and the right side. After the tablet has been folded in the leaked video, it looks like a phone with a wide display. On the software side, the device appears to be running Android, with the OS looking a lot like MIUI. The system language of the leaked device appears to be Chinese and it uses the Android gesture for going back to the home screen — swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen.
This video was tweeted by prominent phone tipster Evan Blass, whose Twitter handle is @evleaks. Blass, in his tweet, said he can’t vouch for the authenticity of the video and that the device is purportedly made by Xiaomi. The leaked video has been shot in a very dark room, and doesn’t reveal any details about the device’s looks apart from the screen and the folding mechanism. As always, we’d advise readers to take this with a pinch of salt.
The coolest part of the video is when Google Maps is opened on the device. The person holding the device folds it in the video, and Google Maps scales itself to the new screen resolution almost immediately, making it appear as though the UI has been optimised for changing screen sizes due to frequent folding. Notably, Google is working on foldable UI for Android, and this may be one of the fruits of its development. One can also see no app drawer and widgets on the left side of the screen — a feature of MIUI. The 19-second video has one part where the user swipes upwards from the bottom of the screen and a slight lag in returning to the home screen can be observed.
While this particular leaked video may or may not be authentic, the technology certainly isn’t that far from being reality. Last year, Samsung’s mobile division CEO DJ Koh had revealed that Samsung’s foldable phone will be a tablet whose screen can be folded to make it like a phone. More details about the Samsung foldable smartphone have also been rumoured. On a related note, LG plans to sell TVs whose displays can be rolled in 2019 too.