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This article was published on February 5, 2021

Xiaomi’s portless concept phone is a gorgeous nightmare

Xiaomi’s portless concept phone is a gorgeous nightmare
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

It has been a week since Xiaomi released its air charging concept that can charge your phone within a few meters range. Now, it has a new concept: a portless phone with a waterfall display extending to all four edges.

The device looks drop-dead gorgeous, and I’ll challenge anyone who disagrees to a duel on top of a volcanic mountain. Before you point your pitchforks at me, feast your eyes on this magnificent beast in the video below.

Xiaomi said that the display is curved at 88-degrees to all sides: top, bottom, left, and right. The company claims that they achieved this flex in the screen through a “3D bonding process” — which tells us nothing.

This looks like a great phone. Where’s the nightmare? For starters, if you don’t like a curved screen, you will hate this the moment you look at it. Also, displays with edges are prone to ghost touches from your hand’s grip. In the video, you can also see that the phone has black cutouts on corners. Some content might not comply with that and end up looking weird. 

Xiaomi concept phone

Apart from the visual appeal, there’s not much practical use of this form factor as of now. There’s also a question of durability and resistance to falls. And having no ports might leave you frantically running around to find a wireless charger.

The idea of devices without ports or ‘edgy’ display is not new. In 2019, Xiaomi released the insane looking Mi Mix Alpha with a wraparound display.  Vivo‘s Apex concept phones have had no ports for the last few iterations.

Would I want to see this phone and play around with it to admire the design effort? Yes. Would I want to own one and live in fear that I’ll break it any day? No.

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