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(Pocket-lint) - Xiaomi is said to be preparing its first folding smartphone, and it's claimed that it will be called the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 Pro and feature a screen that wraps around the outside of the phone. 

This would make it similar to the folding phones launched so far in the Huawei Mate X series, with one primary screen that switches to regular smartphone size when the phone folds shut. 

The claim comes through display market expert Ross Young on Twitter: 

Historically, Xiaomi's Mi Mix range of phones has been there to show us what's possible with some experimental breakthrough technology. 

The first Mi Mix was among the first to use a display with super skinny bezels, with a display that pushed all the way to the edges on the left and right of the phone, as well as pushing right to the top of the phone. 

Mi Mix 3 pushed that further, using a sliding popup mechanism for the front facing camera array, while the Mi Mix Alpha was something of a concept phone with a screen that wrapped around the entire body of the phone. 

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It would be no surprise, then, to see Xiaomi use this same Mi Mix moniker to describe its first publicly available folding phone. 

We know that it has experience using flexible display panels, the Mi Mix Alpha was an example of that, although it never really became a consumer product. 

We're yet to see if the folding, flexible smartphone market is to become mature enough to get all manufacturers involved.

Given the fact that the phones are often expensive and that software hasn't yet been fully optimised for the new screen sizes and shapes, it may be a little while yet before they become normal. 

Having a company like Xiaomi, which usually brings breakthrough tech down to more pallatable prices will only help that. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 2 March 2021.