Xiaomi files a patent for a new way to use sliding cameras on smartphones
The patent shows a sliding camera module on the back which puts both the front and rear cameras on the back of the phone.
A patent filed by Xiaomi shows that the company is working on a way to effectively increase the screen-to-body ratio on smartphones. The patent shows a sliding camera module on the back which puts both the front and rear cameras on the back of the phone.
The design has a vertical strip on the back which has three cameras. Two of these are rear cameras while the last one is the front camera. The photos in the patent point to two visible camera modules on the back and one spot that's left open. This open spot is for the rear module to slide up over the edge of the phone. So essentially, the front camera peeks out from the top of the phone.
A design like this would let Xiaomi remove all bezels from the screen. The smartphone company has used under display proximity sensors and mics in earlier Mi Mix smartphones, so adding a slide-up module would mean they can produce a 95% plus screen-to-body ratio.
Reducing this screen-to-body ratio is a work in progress for many smartphone companies. Apple, for instance, has been reducing the notch on the iPhones and OnePlus has moved to punch-hole cameras for the front.
What the patent does not mention though is what kind of camera resolution Xiaomi will be able to use in this case. Xiaomi has used 108MP cameras on its latest flagships and usually uses 64MP or 48MP sensors on all its phones nowadays. With a slide-up module Xiaomi might be able to use higher resolution sensors for the front camera as well.
Sliding cameras is not an entirely new concept. Oppo And Samsung have used sliding modules in the past to increase the screen-to-body ratio. In these cases, however, the entire backplate with the camera module slides upwards and uses one of the rear cameras as the front camera. Asus has used a camera module that flips on the Asus Zenfone 6.
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