Do we need a smartphone with a sliding flexible screen?

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is working on a concept smartphone with a flexible screen that slides around the body of the device. At least, that looks to be the case from a patent application to the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), which was registered in 2019, but only published and commented on a few days ago by the website WindowsUnited.

A diagram from the Xiaomi patent application, which shows a flexible display that slides around the device.

For years, the form factor of smartphones remained more or less the same. But now with the arrival of edgeless and foldable displays, manufacturers are coming up with ingenious new ideas to stand out from the crowd. Among them is Xiaomi, which is developing a groundbreaking concept, which features a flexible display that slides around the body of the device on a mechanism located just underneath. 

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The goal of this innovation is to cover the front of the phone with an edgeless display that can be moved to reveal a front camera. This would enable users to take selfies without changing the form of the device or the way they hold it. Depending on the length of the screen, the new concept may also be able to simultaneously display two applications, one on the front of the phone and another on the back.

It remains to be seen if Xiaomi will one day bring this concept to market, especially when you consider that the Chinese manufacturer is also working on an alternative device with an integrated camera directly under the display. Xiaomi could launch a smartphone of this type in 2021, hot on the heels of the ZTE Axon 20, which will be the first device to reach the market with a front camera of this kind.

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