Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi revealed a new foldable smartphone, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, at a product launch event on Thursday, boasting a folded thickness that is close to that of a regular phone, thanks to its new screen and hinge design.

Why it matters: The Mix Fold 2 is also intended as a challenge to foldable phone giant Samsung, which launched its new Galaxy Z Fold 4 this week. Xiaomi’s model is cheaper, has a larger battery and screen, and a much faster charging speed.

Details: With a price range of RMB 8,999 to RMB11,699 ($1,336 to $1,736), the phone adopts an inner folding design with a 6.56-inch outer display and an 8.02-inch inner screen. Both displays support 120 Hz refresh rate, 1,000 nits maximal brightness, and Dolby Vision. 

  • The phone uses Samsung for its inner display, offering a resolution of 2160×1914 pixels and POL-LESS technology, which Xiaomi claims gives the phone’s inner display 33% more light transmittance and 25% less battery consumption.
  • The phone is equipped with a self-developed micro waterdrop hinge, which allows for a smaller bending radius and thinner screen modules, enabling a lighter and thinner hinge design.
  • The Mix Fold 2 is 5.4 mm when unfolded and 11.2 mm when folded and weighs 262 grams.
  • The device also features Leica-branded cameras, a partnership that was first introduced in Xiaomi’s recent 12S series. It has a 50-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with two times optical zoom.
  • In the core performance specs, the phone is built with Qualcomm’s new high-end 4nm processor Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and UFS 3.1 high-speed storage chips with a large vapor chamber panel for cooling. 
  • The foldable phone comes with a 4,500 mAh battery with a 67 W charging speed. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 only has a 4,400 mAh battery with a 25 W charging speed.

Context: Xiaomi introduced its Mix Fold 1 in early 2021, with the model becoming the seventh highest-selling foldable phone in the world in 2021, just behind Huawei’s Mate X2, according to a report from Omdia.

  • Samsung dominates the international foldable phone market, with a 88% share in 2021, according to Omdia’s report. But in China, Huawei accounted for 53.7% of all foldable phone sales in the second quarter of 2022, shipping 351,000 units, while Xiaomi took 4.6% of the market during the same period, according to CINNO Research. 

Ward Zhou is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. He covers stories about industry of digital content, hardware, and anything geek. Reach him via ward.zhou[a] or Twitter @zhounanyu.