In a report by Pigtou, Xiaomi has patented a new front facing camera in a module combined with the rear facing camera. The design looks to increase the screen real estate on their smartphones.
The patent shows a display with no bezels. The rear of the device has what looks like a conventional two camera lay out. The difference with this is that the camera module on the back of the device slides up to reveal the front facing camera.
Pop up cameras aren’t anything new, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 has a sliding screen to reveal a front facing camera. A product already available on the market with a feature that most closely resembles the patent that Xiaomi filed is the VIVO NEX and NEX 3. The difference is that, the Vivo’s front facing camera pops up out of the device and is not attached to the rear facing camera.
In the age where phones have notches, it’s refreshing to see Xiaomi take this route with their design. I am personally not a fan of notches to facilitate a front facing camera. Not having bezels looks sleek and clean but I would prefer taking centimetres away from the screen in order to have a properly mounted camera and sensors.
This design by Xiaomi is an interesting and different take on how to maximise the screen without using a notch and not employing a sliding display.
My only concern would be the durability of the sliding mechanism. If there is a failure with the slider, the user in left without a front facing camera. Devices fall regularly and my worry is that the module may not be durable in the event of a fall.
What I do think will be interesting is how cases for this phone, if it ever comes into production, will look like.