Xiaomi could be working on a smartphone with flip-up camera design, apart from a handset with a foldable display. Renders of the flip-up camera phone surfaced online from a listing on the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). Although the patents were filed back in 2018, this is the first time the images have been spotted in public. According to the renders, the smartphone features an array of cameras at the rear that double up as selfie cameras with the help of a flip mechanism. This is a concept previously used by ASUS on the ASUS 6Z. The image highlights five circles within the camera module, one of which is likely the LED flash.
The flip camera setup eliminates the need for either a waterdrop notch or a punch-hole, offering a truly bezel-less experience. While some might think that a quad selfie camera setup is a bit of an overkill, it might be the next big obsession in the global smartphone market.
A few other notable design elements as evident from the renders include the power button and volume rocker on the right edge, while the SIM tray can be seen on the left. It looks like Xiaomi plans to incorporate a dedicated AI voice assistant button below the SIM slot. The bottom edge has the speaker grille and a USB Type-C charging slot. The device might lack a 3.5mm headphone port.
Xiaomi is yet to make a formal announcement regarding the nomenclature, pricing or availability. It seems likely that the company would try to market the device as a flagship Mi product. However, we cannot base our judgment simply on the fact that the design was patented. It could be possible that Xiaomi decides against implementing the technology on a smartphone altogether.
Perhaps the best example is rumours of Xiaomi working on a flip camera smartphone to rival the ASUS 6Z that surfaced last year. The leaked renders at the time showcased a triple-camera setup at the rear, complete with an LED flash module. The handset was later rumoured to be launched under the Meitu lineup, as Xiaomi handles the design and sales of Meitu products. However, no such product ever made it to production either under Xiaomi’s banner or sporting the Meitu logo. Hence, readers are requested to take these images with a pinch of salt.