Xiaomi has turned black again: the four-curved waterfall screen is here! No holes and no buttons

As 2021 has just started, Xiaomi will act frequently.

Last week, Xiaomi just released the "Space Charging Technology", which can realize multi-device mobile and wireless charging within a radius of several meters. The charging power can reach 5W. Reality.

▲ Air charging scene display

And this afternoon, Xiaomi took out another concept phone. Regarding the possibility of mobile phone screens, there is another answer.

Four-curved waterfall screen, in addition to screen or screen

This concept phone released by Xiaomi focuses on the shape of the screen.

The four-sided 88° super curved screen design, the surrounding frame is almost entirely replaced by the screen. There are no holes on the body, no buttons, and the front of the phone looks like an integrated, non-porous screen.

From the perspective of the concept video, the visual effects are indeed shocking. It is more impactful than the traditional waterfall screen. The screen spreads from the center to all sides, completely wrapping the front of the phone, and only has frame reinforcement at the four R corners, and the texture is like metal.

Up, down, left, and right, the screen is covered in four directions, which is called "four-curved waterfall screen" by Xiaomi. At present, the bottom screen can display text information stream, and the two sides can display status bar, volume, etc.

As it is a concept machine, we discuss its false touch rate and fall resistance are of little significance. What is more worthy of attention is what innovative technologies are behind it.

According to Xiaomi, the difficulty in manufacturing this phone lies in the manufacturing of 88° four-curved glass and the 3D bonding process.

Due to the relatively large bending rate, this places higher requirements on the glass production process. Especially the difficulty of bending and polishing is much more difficult than ordinary 3D glass.

In order to produce a hyper-curved glass with 88° deep bends on all four sides, Xiaomi uses self-developed glass processing equipment to heat-bend it into one piece under 800° high temperature and high pressure. Then it can be realized after four different polishing equipments and more than ten polishing processes.

The next problem is to glue this piece of glass with the flexible screen. This needs to overcome the bending stress caused by the extreme bending angle and the extremely small bending radius. Xiaomi claims that it has adopted an innovative screen stacking design and achieved a seamless and flawless screen performance under the 3D bonding process.

Our common smart phones have a handset and camera on the top. There will be a power jack, microphone and speaker at the bottom. Physical buttons such as power button and volume button will be integrated on the frame.

The Xiaomi Siqu waterfall screen concept mobile phone occupies the "ground" of the above-mentioned functional devices.

How to do it? Xiaomi said that it uses ultra-thin piezoelectric ceramics to achieve external sound generation; the first flexible film screen sound technology, which replaces the handset; eSIM mobile phone card, which replaces the physical SIM card.

In addition, high-power wireless charging, pressure-sensitive buttons, third-generation under-screen lenses, etc. also allow those physical functional devices to be "invisible."

From the video, we can see the design on the back of the phone. The lens module looks very simple, returning to a single lens. The area under the lens is temporarily unclear, it seems to be fingerprint recognition.

Xiaomi has not disclosed more information about the phone, nor has it stated whether this phone will be mass-produced. At present, the yield rate of screen glass may be the biggest problem facing mass production.

A brief history of Xiaomi mobile phone screen advanced

As the window of human-computer interaction, the importance of the screen is self-evident. The improvement of screen technology is also of great benefit to the innovation of mobile phone form.

Looking back at the many models of Xiaomi in the past, we can find that the screen plays an increasingly important role among the highlights of its new generations.

Before 2015, the screens of Xiaomi phones didn't have any amazing features. This year, the emergence of the top version of Mi Note broke this situation.

The top version of Mi Note is equipped with a 5.7-inch 2K resolution screen , which is deeply customized by Xiaomi and Sharp/JDI. 515PPI, high-contrast Nega negative LCD technology, let the screen of Xiaomi mobile phones begin to get rid of mediocrity.

Since this year, "resolution" has also become a hot spot for competition in the mobile phone industry, and 2K screens have gradually become the mainstream configuration of flagship phones.

In 2016, after flexible screen technology matured, Xiaomi Note 2 was equipped with a hyperboloid screen for the first time. This OLED screen has become a dazzling technology of the Xiaomi Note series, and it has undoubtedly improved the beauty of the Xiaomi mobile phone series.

On the day of the release of Note 2, when the mobile phone and VR helmet were all unveiled, Lei Jun still had no intention of ending. Subsequently, Xiaomi MIX made a stunning debut. Lei Jun said, "This is the limit that today's technology can do."

The 6.4-inch screen with 91.3% screen-to-body ratio makes the front of the Mi MIX look very technologically beautiful. And its "full screen" concept has quickly become a hot spot for mobile phone manufacturers to chase after.

Even if I look back at Mi MIX now, I can still feel the visual shock that this screen brings to people. There are no bangs, no digging holes, and a whole screen is covered with his face. Even with a wide "chin", it does not prevent it from becoming the white moonlight in the hearts of many rice noodles.

In 2018, Mi MIX 3 will increase the screen-to-body ratio again. Through the sliding cover design, the front camera is hidden, and the "chin" is also narrowed a lot, which can be described as a "true full screen."

But after Xiaomi MIX, the most amazing thing is Xiaomi MIX Alpha, which was born in 2019.

The main feature of Mi MIX Alpha is still related to the screen. A wrap-around flexible screen wraps the Alpha body, which is called "surround screen" by Xiaomi.

"Through layered surround bonding technology, the screen's bonding sequence is changed, so that the screen can achieve deep bending of the surrounding form." Lei Jun introduced at the press conference, "Hold it in your hand, like a universe cube in a science fiction movie."

Although Xiaomi MIX Alpha is a concept machine, Xiaomi has completed the upgrade of its brand image through this machine.

In fact, in January 2019, Xiaomi President Lin Bin also showed a high-profile dual-folding phone on Weibo. Afterwards, the relevant person in charge of Visionox said that Xiaomi’s flexible screen was created by Visionox and Xiaomi. Jointly developed.

▲The dual-folding screen phone displayed by Lin Bin

After that, Lin Bin once again stated that Xiaomi's dual-folding mobile phone and MIX Alpha are "two simultaneous projects" to solve common technical problems. However, this dual-folding phone did not formally show to the market like MIX Alpha.

At the end of 2020, Xiaomi Mi 11, which debuted Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, has also been riveted on the screen.

In the preheating poster, Xiaomi slogans such as "the most expensive screen in the history of Xiaomi mobile phones" and "probably the most expensive screen in the mobile phone industry". In actual experience, this screen does perform well. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the "goalkeeper" of the domestic flagship machine in 2021.

▲ Mi 11 screen poster

From the 2015 Mi Note, to the latest Mi 11, and to the four-curved waterfall screen concept machine released today, we can see that Xiaomi is paying more and more attention to the technology of the screen.

Why do mobile phone manufacturers pay so much attention to the screen?

Abandoning hardware parameters such as resolution, refresh rate, peak brightness, etc., around the screen form, recent years should be the biggest period of change in the history of mobile phones.

In 2015, the curved screen mobile phone represented by Samsung S6 edge gave a new idea in the screen form. This is undoubtedly a leapfrog change in the era of candy bar screens and large bezels.

▲ Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

It is also from this period that the screen-to-body ratio has become a hot topic among digital enthusiasts. After Xiaomi MIX promoted the full-screen trend in 2016, various manufacturers have resorted to various tactics in the pursuit of full-screen.

For example, names such as "Liu Haiping", "Water Drop Screen", "Pill Screen", "Tabbit Screen" and "Pole Screen" vividly describe various solutions in the era of full screen.

▲ Digging screens in various forms. Picture from: Mrwhosetheboss

The NEX and Find X of the blue-green factory have also led the rise and fall of the camera for a period of time, in order to pursue the ultimate full screen.

▲ vivo NEX3

Then, vivo NEX3 and Huawei Mate30 Pro brought the concept of " waterfall screen " into flames. The goal of the "waterfall screen" is the same as that of the lifting camera, which is to make the front of the phone look infinitely close to a complete screen.

▲Huawei Mate30 Pro

By bending with a large curvature, the "waterfall screen" replaces the position of the phone frame. This kind of design that is wrapped by a whole screen without other extra elements will make it easier for people to get a sense of immersion and satisfaction in the field of vision.

Since then, folding screen mobile phones represented by Samsung Galaxy Fold X series and Huawei Mate X series have become "icebreakers" in the form of mobile phone screens.

At the beginning of last year, TCL also released a three-fold screen concept phone, which also let us see another possibility of folding screens. Fold 6.65 inches and unfold 10 inches. This span almost includes three forms of large-screen mobile phones, mini tablets, and tablet computers.

The emergence of folding screens broke people's inherent cognition. In addition to straight and curved screens, mobile phone screens can also have other forms. Regardless of whether it is folded outwards or folded inward, or double-folded or triple-folded, neither of these solutions can be separated from the increasingly mature flexible screen and hinge technology.

OPPO's scroll screen concept machine released at the Future Technology Conference last year jumped out of the "folding" idea. Through the "pull" design scheme, the large-size mobile phone screen is cleverly hidden in a controllable volume.

According to the on-site experience of Aifaner, the completion of the scroll-screen phone has been quite high. The screen size supports infinite adjustment between 6.7-7.4 inches, which means that in the future, it can be freely adjusted between different sizes according to app adaptation or user preferences.

▲ OPPO reel screen concept machine

It can be said that the changes in the form of mobile phone screens are the most significant in the past decade, except for performance and cameras.

At present, the competition between Android mobile phone brands has long gone beyond the hardware category. In fact, it has evolved into a stage involving differentiated technologies, brand reputation, and even technical capabilities.

In particular, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO and vivo have already made some forward-looking explorations. If Xiaomi wants to further enhance its brand reputation and image, it needs to perform in terms of technology.

▲vivo APEX 2020, using waterfall screen and under-screen camera technology

The innovation of screen form is most easily perceived by consumers, and it is more intuitive than changes in performance and imaging quality. Choosing a mobile phone screen as a breakthrough allows Xiaomi to show its technical capabilities more intuitively, thereby leaving a high-end impression on the market. This is why Xiaomi has frequently made efforts in screens in recent years.

According to this logic, in the next few years, around the mobile phone screen, I believe that various manufacturers will bring more surprises. The progress of human-computer interaction driven by screen changes is clearly happening.

Tell simple and easy-to-read stories. Work email: wanghelong@ifanr.com.

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Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo