Our story begins in 2019, when Xiaomi submitted a patent to CINPA for a bendable device with a large display. This was not the Mi Mix Alpha presented as a concept phone, but a phone intended for the market, mostly similar to the Huawei Mate Xs, where only on the outside there is a large display that can be folded under itself. In 2020, based on the patent filed, we could see what Xiaomi planned for the device in drawings, but now the prototype can be seen for the first time in photos.
Xiaomi designed with four cameras, an LED flash and a button with which you can release the hinge that opens and closes the display. It is interesting that in the photos just published, the inside of the phone can also be seen, which shows that there were two batteries in the device, with a total capacity of 3500 mAh.
(source: Twitter) [+]
It also turns out that Xiaomi used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 system chip and the X50 modem in the prototype, so the bendable was probably intended as a 5G-capable device. According to Kuba Wojciechowski, who published the pictures on Twitter, it is very difficult to get hold of such a prototype, as only a few of them were made before Xiaomi decided to choose a design that could be opened like a book like the Galaxy Fold, from which two generations of Mix Folds were born. The outward-opening prototype shown in the pictures was probably not durable enough, which is why it avoided market sales, leaving Huawei as the only competitor with this special design.