Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi recently filed a patent for a foldable phone that opens into a tablet. Thanks to the inclusion of a pop-up camera, users will have an extra-large screen to their disposal.
Xiaomi first unveiled a prototype for a unique smartphone that could be folded twice back in January 2020. Then in March 2020, Xiaomi showed off a prototype of their Mi Mix Alpha smartphone with a wraparound display.
Since then, the company has remained remarkably quiet on foldable phone design. Nevertheless, Xiaomi has in the meantime registered quite a few design variants for different foldable models.
Xiaomi’s latest foldable phone patent
While their latest project is also a foldable phone, this device won’t have any large lenses visible when you unfold the device. Instead, a pop-up camera system has been used.
Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co. Ltd filed a patent for the device with The Hague International Design System, part of World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) back on 25 September 2020.
The WIPO published the 1-page patent document, which can be viewed here, on November 20, 2020. Based on the information provided, Let’s Go Digital was able to create the schematics used in this article.
The first image shows the device’s size once it’s unfolded from a phone into a tablet. The flexible screen has a significantly larger design, thanks to the lack of notches on the front screen.
Xiaomi has opted for a full-screen format sans the vertical camera band we’ve seen in previous models. The image below shows the pop-up camera’s mechanism in action.
About that pop-up camera
The pop-up camera that is placed in the rear part of the housing, facing the front. That means the selfie camera can be used when the phone is folded or unfolded.
The front-facing pop-up mechanism houses two camera lenses, while an additional three lenses can be found on the rear in the top left corner (refer to figure two).
Unfortunately, the patent doesn’t contain any camera specifications.
Xiaomi foldable phone: Other details
Two buttons are situated on the right side of the device. We assume that the longer button would serve as the volume control, while the power button is located directly below it.
As reported by Let’s Go Digital, the SIM compartment is placed on the left side of the device. In addition, Xiaomi’s design shows a microphone on both the top and bottom.
A USB-C charging port and the speaker can be seen along the bottom of the device. We’ll have to wait for Xiaomi to share any additional updates, hopefully at the Mobile World Congress in 2021.