12 February 2021
Xiaomi has introduced a new concept phone that features a four-sided waterfall display. There is no name given to the phone but in Xiaomi’s own words, it is a “quad-curved waterfall display concept smartphone.”
To understand this design better, simply recall what Xiaomi introduced with its Mi Mix Alpha concept phone. However, this time, the display is not wrapped around the back panel entirely, rather all four sides take a curve from their respective edges and end before the back panel starts. Almost the entire frame of the smartphone is covered by a screen. Xiaomi calls it an 88-degree hyper quad-curved design that flows over the phone’s surface like water.
Furthermore, this new concept carries no ports or buttons and rather follows a complete unibody design. In the introductory video, one can see the elements of a page getting scrolled up from the bottom curved edge of the display up to the top, just like a scroll in real-life.
Xiaomi in its press release touts that the biggest challenge wasn’t in producing the first quad-curved waterfall screen but rather in manufacturing an 88-degree quad-curved glass panel and the 3D bonding process. Xiaomi explains compared to the ordinary curved glass, it went for procuring a self-developed glass. For that, it uses 800-degree high temperature for bending and pressure, four different polishing tools, and up to more than ten complex polishing procedures. And, to attach this prepared 88-degree curved glass to a flexible display it used the 3D bonding stacking process.
The unnamed “quad-curved waterfall display concept smartphone” includes ultra-thin piezoelectric ceramics, 3rd-gen under-display cameras, wireless charging, eSIM chips, pressure-sensitive touch sensors, and more. Xiaomi claims its concept phone represents the sum of its 46 patents.
Looks like, manufacturers are trying out several possibilities of waterfall displays and imagining what the future might look like. This is a concept phone and clearly not coming out commercially, though you can imagine what the future has in store for all of us. We have already seen foldable phones coming out commercially and we may see this industry welcoming flexible and curved display phones soon.