Xiaomi Suddenly Reveals Dazzling New Smartphone Design

Xiaomi announced a remarkable new air-charging technology a week ago, and this week it’s the turn of a world-first display. In the last few months, some phone manufacturers have ditched curved-edge displays for a return to a flat screen, such as the iPhone 12 family and Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+.

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But Xiaomi has gone the other way. Its new prototype has a display which tumbles down the sides of the phone. And not just the long sides, the short ones as well.

Check out the video below to see this clearly, but the effect is pretty amazing. Screens like this are nicknamed waterfall displays, so don’t be surprised that there’s plenty of video showing waves and water cascading over the edges.

As you’ll see, the corners of the phone and a tiny sliver of the edges are the only parts of the front and sides that aren’t covered in a display.

Xiaomi describes it as a concept but it may be more than that. A representative told The Verge that it already exists and they have used it, indicating it could be here sooner rather than later.

In its blog, Xiaomi says that what it describes as an 88-degree “hyper quad-curved screen” has “virtually broken through the technological limits of glass production”. Be that as it may, there may be problems with a screen like this.

First, there’s the Cornish pasty problem. Workers in tin mines in Cornwall, England, in the nineteenth century, ate pasties, that is, pastries with a meat filling inside.

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Crucially, there was a sizeable, grabbable crimped crust around one side, so that the miners could hold the pasty by the crust to get at the meat and throw away the bit they’d been holding in their fingers covered in toxic particles from the mine.

In other words, you need something you can hold on to, so we must hope that Xiaomi has built a rejection system into the sides so it won’t react crazily when you pick the phone up by its edges.

This problem already exists on phones where the display creeps around the sides.

Then there’s the off-axis issue that OLED screens also endure today, where the curved edges look different from the main display, which can be disturbing to look at.

Still, there are other interesting features to this phone. As you can imagine, with all that display, there’s not much room for anything else. So, this is a phone without any ports, not even for charging. It’ll use wireless charging only.

And the front-facing camera will sit underneath the display, so there’ll be no interruption visible for that, nor the fingerprint sensor. Presumably, something similar will be used for the power button. Or maybe it won’t have one of those, either?

In all, this looks like a curious but highly striking phone. Let’s hope it comes to fruition.

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